where the writers are

First, thank you Red Room for putting my book on the homepage this week. Thank you to the readers who have leapt in and bought a copy of The Brightest Moon of the Century. Amazon has now reduced the price 32%. For the direct link to the book, click here.   The reading on Saturday at Vroman's Bookstore went extremely well, and many more books, which I signed, were sold there. I loved seeing everyone who came, and I appreciate your time and enthusiasm. Vroman's has more signed copies. If you want a signed copy, call the store at (626) 449-5320 or email them at email@vromansbookstore.com.   


The big news of the moment is my play, Who Lives?, which opens tomorrow night at the Pico Playhouse in West Los Angeles. Three television stations (Los Angeles Channels 2, 7, and 9) came to the first dress rehearsal last night because two of the actors happen to have had kidney transplants. If they had had their disease in the sixties when the play is set, they would have died.   You can see a streaming video of last night's ABC 7 news broadcast by clicking here.  

The play's opening has also been written about in Germany. Click here. A homepage for the play has been created here. It'll give you the latest news as it happens. There are still seats for this weekend. If you want a direct link for tickets, click here.  

For those of you not living in Los Angeles and feeling left out, you can buy the published version of Who Lives? by clicking here.  

Lori Hartwell, a three-time kidney transplant recipient, has produced this play with such vigor and determination, I'm in awe. She's assisted by Brett Fisher, and they found the top designers and two stage managers. Director Joe Ochman, has worked with me closely in trimming my play slightly as I'd wanted, and he's pushed me well. He's meticulous.   The actors bring such passion that if you see it, I'll be amazed if you don't walk out with tears in your eyes. I thank them all for memorizing more than I ever could. The violinist, Richard Adkins, brings the kind of musical splendor and poetry I'd only hoped as when I first heard a lone violinist one day at CalArts.  


While I've been going to rehearsals, more reviews for my novel have streamed in. I've also been interviewed twice for the book in the last week, which I'll get to in a future blog. I'm not sure how to convey what an Alice-in-Wonderland world I'm experiencing. It's not that I'm feeling important. Rather, I wrote the play twelve years ago, and I started the novel in the fall of 1999, so I find it odd and astounding that the two things hit the same week. It's a week that I suppose I'd always wished for. I take it an hour at a time.  

The book has eleven reviews so far, which you can see at the bottom of my author's page one click back. The two most recent ones are from Rebecca Schinsky (click here) and Wendy Robards (click here). I cherish these reviews for their depth and insight, quoting from the text and placing the book in relation to my short story collections. Thank you to them and to the world of literary websites, which is growing.  

What keeps me particularly humble is my family--thank you. Also I'm writing a new novel during this time just to remind myself it's about process. Nothing is more humbling than a first draft, where I feel like a beginner.

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We are not from Germany :)

Hello Christopher,

In your article it reads: "The play's opening has also been written about in Germany," followed by a link to our website. NierNieuws.nl however, is a Dutch independent website on issues regarding kidney failure, renal cancer etc.

Apart from this, we wish you good luck and lots of success with this very special play for a very good cause and hope it will be performed more often than planned and in other cities as well. Maybe it should even be performed in Holland, in translation.

A fascinating script, about a very interesting subject. Simply well worth to be performed not only in Los Angeles!

Many regards from Holland,

Editors NierNieuws.nl

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Dear Editors-- My brother

Dear Editors--

My brother wrote me today that that article was Dutch, not German. I'm sorry about that. "Germanic" might have been closer. I lived in Denmark in the seventies and visited your wonderful country then. My friend Lee Wochner just ran an AIDS marathon there and showed me lovely photos. I hope to get back to the Netherlands again. Maybe someone there wants to produce "Who Lives?" in Dutch. A theatre in Sweden once considered producing it. I know people think it's a serious subject or depressing, but there's much humor in the play, and it ends on a high note.

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A good run you're on.

Congratulations on all the good news and the success you're having, Chris. I can imagine how exciting it is. Wish I lived closer to CA (more specifically, L.A.) so I could see your play!

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L.A. Times and others say good things of the play

Thanks, Kristen. You can get a sense vicariously of the play by reading the reviews and seeing the newscasts.

The Los Angeles Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/03/review-who-live.html

ReviewPlays: http://www.reviewplays.com/03-09-wholives.htm

TV Station KABC-7: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/video?id=6703282

TV Station KCAL-9: http://cbs2.com/video/?id=96738@kcbs.dayport.com

(For those in Los Angeles who would like half-price tickets, to to www.goldstar.com.)