My book is in stores today! My first book! My baby! Not my real baby ? born in December! ? but my paper baby! (Don't think I haven't attempted to take a picture of my real baby leafing happily through my paper baby. In all of the photos, he looks like he's about to make the transition to solid foods.) I knew today was the day but suddenly I'm shivering with excitement.
You can see the startling cover image embedded in this blog post ? when it was first shown to me, I swooned: it nails the novel's tone. The keyboard first scans as mundane, then uncanny, just as the story takes the familiar and pushes it into a more surreal and menacing realm.
Hmmm. What does it mean that yesterday I blogged about my computer desktop photo, and today I'm focusing on keyboards? Do we see our machines as expressions of our personality ? or our silent, brutish taskmasters? (Whenever I resort to rhetorical questions, Carrie Bradshaw's voice pops in my head.) I'm thinking of Nabokov's afterword to Lolita, in which he claims that his inspiration was an ape that had "produced the first drawing ever charcoaled by an animal: the sketch showed the bars of the poor creature's cage."
The newspaper office I worked in (I was fired when the company restructured back in 2006) had its cagelike qualities, with the detritus of fallen and forgotten colleagues circulating from desk to desk, weird junk in the corners. A mysterious place. I remember a section of picket fence that remained propped along a row of cubicles for years. There were some sunlit nooks but also vast swaths where everything was the color of ash, sinking into shadow. By the time things were over for me there, I was tucked in my own cavelike room, books heaped all around me, studying the pigeons strutting on the other side of the glass.