Back in early 90s Chicago, I hosted some author events in The Children’s Bookstore and at Printers Row Bookfair to promote the outstanding “Ancient and Living Cultures” educational activity books, written by Mira Bartok and Christine Ronan. I loved the events they created: kids could punch out multicultural design stencils and create cool artworks they’d take home.

In 1996, after closing The Children’s Bookstore, I lost touch with Mira.

In 2002, I moved to Amherst, Massachusetts to launch The Eric Carle Museum Bookshop.  A few years after THAT, I was very surprised to recognize Mira Bartok browsing in the store. She was doing a masters in writing at University of Massachusetts.

Mira put me on the mailing list for her Mira’s List blog, devoted to alerting artists of grant and residency opportunities–a subject about which she had developed encyclopedic knowledge. I loved reading the blogposts, which suggested that I travel to other countries and make art.  What a fabulous fantasy! And to think that some people were really doing it! I gradually came to realize that Mira herself had been doing exactly this.

Who was this woman? Evidently I didn’t know Mira very well.

While finishing her Masters in writing at University of Massachusetts, Mira was writing what emerged as an astonishing book drawn from her life, The Memory Palace. The book was released recently. It’s very intimate and powerful–and has rapidly reached a wide readership.

Somehow, amid all her book-touring, Mira has found time to continue blogging on Mira’s List, and a few months ago she told me she’d like to feature Rebel Bookseller there, by conducting an author interview with me.

I fear that I may have been a over-aggressive in some of my responses…but, then, I am on a mission.


One Response to My Interview with Mira Bartok

  1. Mira Bartok says:

    Rock on Andy! We will win!
    Thanks for telling everyone about the interview. :-)

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