Heft is now available as an e-book, orders from Amazon have shipped, and the book will be in stores on Monday. Leading up to the book’s release, I’ll be posting daily excerpts. I hope they’ll give you some idea of what the book’s all about. And THANK YOU for reading!
Excerpt 2: Arthur has just finished writing a letter to his former student, Charlene.
From page 18:
The events that prompted me to write it are as follows.
First, three days ago, the phone rang. I had been doing absolutely nothing & it gave me a very great shock. I nearly jumped out of my skin. I waited a few rings to let my breathing settle before I answered.
A voice came through the wires. “Arthur?” someone said. “Arthur Opp?”
Now I do not get many personal calls & my heart leapt at who it might be.
“Yes,” I said, I whispered.
It was Charlene Turner. I did not expect to hear her voice ever again in my life but O God I was very glad to. I nearly cried out but stopped myself. I clapped a hand over my mouth instead & bit the inner flesh of it.
We talked briefly & I tried to sound quite calm and relaxed but accidentally I told an extraordinary number of lies.
I wanted to say Have you been receiving my letters—it has been nearly a tear since I have heard from her, and she used to write more often than that—but instead I said “How have you been.”
She said, “All right.” In such a way that it sounded as if she wanted me to understand the opposite.
We spoke for a while about nothing. I updated her on William, the brother whose closeness to me I exaggerated on a whim in one of my notes to her. I told her he was doing very well and was in fact retiring next year after a celebrated career as an architect. I told her that last month I had visited family in England and that yesterday I’d spent in Manhattan, visiting an old friend. Then I told her I’d taken up photography.
“Great,” said Charlene, & I too said “Great.”
“Are you still teaching?” said Charlene.
“No, I’ve stopped teaching,” I said—I said without thinking.
And she said O No in such a way that she sounded utterly utterly disappointed & forlorn.
So I said “But I tutor now.” Just so it would seem as if I had been doing a little something all these years.At this she brightened & told me that this was in fact why she was calling….
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- littlebabybigcity said: I really am treasuring my nightly readings ! SO Good and I love Arthur
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- chiaraatik said: Just bought it on Amazon! Looking forward to reading.
- brooklyntree said: so will it be on my kindle if i pre-ordered?!
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