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Notes from Chicago

Hello from Chicago!

It’s cold here. But it feels oh-so warm and lovely to be seeing old friends and family. We spent yesterday afternoon and evening at Greg’s sister’s house and Vera could not have been more thrilled to be reunited with her cousins. I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me to see her with them. All of my cousins were always so much older than me, and also with being an only child I just never had a family experience like the one she is part of.

It also feels better to be out in the world and getting my mind off the Newtown tragedy. I’ve really had a hard time processing it, as all of us have. Yesterday, walking through the airport, I felt so vulnerable and edgy. I haven’t felt this affected by a national tragedy since 9/11. I think it’s going to take all of us a long time to heal, and hopefully good things will come from it, in the form of a safer country.

Here are a few more good things:

I found out last week that The Rules of Inheritance is a finalist for a Books for a Better Life award, and I’m feeling impossibly humbled. Other finalists include Anne Lamott (!!), Kelle Hampton (do your read her blog??), and Andrew Solomon (I think everyone I know is reading his book right now). This also means that I’m going to be in NYC in March for the awards ceremony, which is pretty exciting.

Here’s an essay I have up on the Powell’s Books blog. I wrote about my relationship with author Deni Bechard (otherwise known as the college tutor in the first chapter of my book). I think this is one of the most interesting side-stories from my book.

Lastly, I’m reading tomorrow night in one of Chicago’s newest bookstores, City Lit. I know the weather is supposed to be yucky, but I would be so, so excited if you came out to say hi.





  1. congratulations, claire! i can’t wait to read your book – hopefully when the craziness of the holidays dies down, and my next semester of graduate school gets underway, i’ll be able to steal a few moments each day to dig in!

    Comment by Sara on December 19, 2012 at 9:39 am

  2. I spent the weekend being sad for those lost but thinking that Friday’s shooting didn’t affect me. Then I went to the post office on Monday and while I stood in that cramped little shop with 30 other people and one exit, I was so anxious and couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen if someone opened fire in that space. I haven’t had feelings like that in a very long time. I’m glad it’s not just me.
    Congrats on your nomination. I recommend your book to everyone I know. :)
    Enjoy Chicago!

    Comment by jen on December 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm

  3. Claire! 15 minutes ago I was in the shower feeling hopelessly vulnerable scared of the world. A newly married high school classmate of mine died of a heart attack yesterday night (we’re 31), and I can’t get the thoughts of Newtown to quiet. I’m finding myself wishing I could keep my 20 week old unborn child inside me forever, and becoming terrified as I realize this will be the safest I can ever keep him/her. With all this, I come to your blog and find comfort that I’m not alone, and resources to move through these feelings. I clicked the link to Kelle Hamton’s blog, and found a post relating to all of this, and a link to a book I immediately ordered from Amazon (Daring Greatly by Brene Brown). Thanks again Claire, and congrats on the nomination, the book is wonderful.

    Comment by Anna on December 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm

  4. Hello Clair,
    so nice meeting you at the Chicago reading, I just finished the book,could not put it down, wonderful book,
    Congratualtions to you,and All the Best,looking forward to the next one.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!
    Greetings from Chicago.

    Comment by Hans M on December 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

  5. hi,i’m just off plane having travelled home to dublin from nevv york. bought your book in barnes & noble on 5th avenue, although i’m in my 50′s and my mother died 20 years ago i couldn’t put the book dovvn and missed a night;s sleep! beautifully vvriten it made me cry on the plane. just left my beautiful 24year old daughter over there glad you have daughters novv, novv you knovv hovv your mother felt. you vvere her joy in life. keep up the vvriting you have a gift

    Comment by annefarrell on January 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

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