Tomorrow I will be selling my book, Oilspill dotcom, at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center Book Festival. I am excited. The festival is about Jewish literature, and not Jewish authors, and since Oilspill dotcom doesn’t have any Jewish content, I count myself lucky to be there.
I have been allowed in through the back door because my full-time job is as the head of a Jewish non-profit which is seen as a vital component in the Jewish Community – The San Francisco Hillel provides educational opportunities and support for Jewish students in a part of the US where it isn’t always easy to be openly Jewish on campus.
My claim with the bookseller at the festival is that I am a recognizable figure and plan to hang out by the book table.
This is true. But it also brings up another issue. I have never exploited this circle of influence to market myself as an author of political fiction. When I launched the book, I certainly told everyone and have received varying degrees of support from students, fellow staff and stakeholders. I could have pushed for more coverage, for readings, and included more plugs in my correspondents and updates.
But generally I have kept the worlds apart. I’m not sure why. I doubt that even those who might take issue with my view of multinational corporations would hold it against me in my work at SF Hillel.
I do believe that part of my drive to write novels that spotlight and challenge social injustices comes from the emphasis that Judaism puts on Tikkun Olam – fixing the world.
So on Sunday I will wear my smarter work clothes to ensure I am recognized and will discuss political literature alongside Jewish identity, look for common ground, and hopefully sell a few books in the process.