Reading Recap: A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books

Audience: About 45.
Anxiety index: 6 (out of 10).
Surprise guest(s): Yiyun Li (standing next to me in the photo) and Paul S., an ex co-worker of mine who’s moved to San Francisco a few months ago.
No. of Moroccans who said hello: 5.

It was a thrill and an honor to be reading at the legendary bookstore A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books last night. And I was also a bit surprised by the great turnout and wonderful reception. I chose to read a couple of scenes with my character Aziz, snapshots from his life before and after his trip.

Several of my cousins showed up, and it was great to be able to read dialogue that included a few words of Moroccan Arabic and know that they would get it. I got a little misty eyed during a scene from “Homecoming,” because it reminded me of a recent loss in a friend’s family, but I managed to keep it together and finish off the reading and then take questions.

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