• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Many Times I’ve Been Alone And Many TImes I’ve Cried

I received an email today from an editor congratulating me for having another National Book Award nominee. What the fuck? I didn’t even know the nominations were being announced today. I scrolled down to Publishers Lunch and there it was, right there under the fiction nominees: THe Sojourn by ANdrew Krivak (Bellevue Press). I called Andrew who said he couldn’t talk because he was driving. Citizens! I asked him to pull over, hello, but he had to pick up his son. Okay. Was he in shock? Was I? He received the call on Friday from the head of the NBA, who instructed him not to tell anyone. And he didn’t. (More restraint than I’ve managed for my entire life.) My inbox started to fill with congratulations, including from a number of the editors who had passed on the book.  So gracious. Did I say I was in tears. I called to tell Patti and my mom. Guess who knew the right thing to say? Andrew called back, having gotten home and plied his three children with Graham Crackers.  (My mind immediately flashed on marshmallows and Hershey bars.) We enjoyed the moment. It had been a long haul to see this book published. I never wanted to give up. More important, he never did.

Congrats, Andrew.

45 Responses

  1. Congratulations. 🙂

  2. Damn, you know how to pick ’em. Congrats.

  3. Congratulations! You have Patti’s phone number???

  4. Congratulations, Ms. Lerner.

  5. A huge congrats to you and Andrew. You’re on a roll. Proud of you.

  6. So impressive and well deserved all around. I love that you called both Patti Smith and your mother. That is a well rounded woman. Congratulation, Betsy.

  7. Well deserved. Congratulations to you both.

  8. That’s the story we love to hear. Congratulations!

  9. congrats!

  10. nice job, sis.

  11. So happy for the both of you, Betsy. You keep hitting them out of the park.

    I just went to Amazon to check it out, and found that he’s also written a memoir, of being in the priesthood, and then leaving. Jesuit, no less. The author photo isn’t bad either, to put it mildly. For this former Catholic school girl, this is pure chocolate cake. I’m looking forward to reading both of these books.

  12. I truly enjoyed reading this book and certain scenes are still strong in my head. Beautiful, measured writing and above all, a story.

    Best of luck to both of you for the award.

  13. No sojourn here. Looks like this book is here to stay. COngratuLations! I’m going to go check it out right this very second.

  14. How exciting!! Felicitations. Post a photo of you celebrating please.

  15. Wonderful news! Enjoy! I’m so happy for everyone involved.

  16. That’s great Betsy. What’s more fun than vindication?

  17. As an aspiring author, I’ve often daydreamed of a moment such as you had. What surprised me in my self-centered little world, however, was how much the publication and success of Andrew’s novel meant to you.

    Or, translated into BL lingo: “WTF! Even my agent is gobsmacked?!”

  18. Congratulations! Wow!

  19. This post is so zingy! I love “Citizens” and your comment “Guess who knew the right thing to say.”

    But most of all I love how thrilled you are for him – soft as a marshmallow, you.

    Congrats to you both.

    Will check out the book.

  20. How much do I love that you immediately called Patti along with your mom? Yeah, that much.

    Congrats to you and Andrew, two people who never wanted to give up.

  21. Congratulations, Betsy and Andrew. I’ve got another must-read on my bedside table.

  22. Andrew’s priorities make me want to cry. You have to love a dad who can’t talk ABOUT HIS NBA NOM until his kids are safe and fed. Swoon.

    Congratulations to you both.

  23. I’m with Shanna.

    This does my heart good this morning. Congratulations to the both of you.

  24. Congratulations. I appreciate the long trek from finding a book you love, and want to see the light of day, to then connecting the author and the work to the best publisher for it. No mean feat.

  25. Congratulations! My favorite line in this entry was, We enjoyed the moment.

  26. How wonderful. This leaves me with chills. But I haven’t even heard of the book!! Is this my ignorance? Has it been widely publicized and I’ve missed it? Or does it need more publicity? Ah, the world of book publishing…..

  27. Huge congrats! I must read this.

  28. We’re going to expect a “Lerner” in every batch of NBA nominees. Congratulations, Betsy. And to Andrew Krivak. And to Bellevue Literary Press.

  29. Woman, you are totally awesome.

  30. Congratulations and I must say the cover looks really intriguing. Kind of like a scene from ‘The King of Hearts’

  31. Wonderful news and I must say the cover looks really intriguing. Kind of like a scene from ‘The King of Hearts’

  32. Hey, I just heard he was one of yours. Well deserved. And you have to love those msgs from editors who passed.

  33. Aren’t you guys relieved he wasn’t unfinalized? Good God.

  34. I just finished the first chapter and all I want to do is crawl back into bed with a box of tissues. That’s some kind of perfect writing. All I can say right now is that the child better live. If he doesn’t, I can’t promise I won’t write a nasty letter to Mr. Krivak.

  35. Congratulations to you and Andrew, Betsy! Fantastic news.

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