Friday was a fun day. A friend from high school was in town to give a talk at Duquesne University and I met him for coffee in the morning. Later in the day, I helped lead a professional development workshop for our graduate students on the topic of book reviewing. In the course of that workshop, I explained to the graduate students the way in which my first published book review, written while still in graduate school, ended up being on a volume of essays on art and Jewish identity in contemporary America that was also the catalog from an exhibit at the Jewish Museum in New York. Later still, I took the bus down to Duquesne to hear my friend's talk, which turned out to be about the forms and functions of literary book reviewing. It was a wonderful talk and he's an accomplished reviewer. (You can see his latest work here.) I got a ride home with my friend's host at Duquesne. While we were driving up Forbes Avenue, I remarked on the coincidence of the two events and mentioned my story of how I ended up as a reviewer of a book on art and identity--and learned that the driver of the car I was in was the daughter of one of the artists featured in that exhibit at the Jewish Museum those many years ago.
(By the way, the title of this post is part of the answer to a trivia challenge from a previous post.)