On Wednesday, May 7th, we hosted local author David Homel for the launch of his latest, The Fledglings. David let us know right away that this was to be an unconventional launch, declaring that he hates readings for their lecture-like feeling. Instead, guests milled about, chatting with David and one another and having their books signed.
Eventually, for some sense of formality, poet Katia Grubisic paused the party to introduce David.
Then, with the microphone warmed up, David's many friends and fans were able to convince him to take the stage. He explained that The Fledglings is about filial love and functional adultery. The writing process began at his mother's 90th birthday party (which went on for three days, like a Polish wedding, 'except no one was drunk'), when her cousin looked him in the eye, banged the table, and suggested he write a book about her. She has apparently read the subsequent novel and doesn't like it.
But the crowd disagrees. Not only does David read a wonderful passage from when his characters are sixteen years old in 1930s Chicago, but he sings as well! It ain't a D+Q launch without some singing, people. His selection speaks to the novel's title, and introduces the future the fledglings will have: “What’s a fledgling?” one character asks. “It’s a baby bird. A baby bird that’s just learning to fly. Like you and me," responds the other.