In 2004, someone named Porter Shreve reviewed Circus for the Chicago Tribune.
Now, to be honest, I didn’t feel that all the reviewers of Circus actually read the entire book. Even the positive reviews sometimes seemed…like blurbs.
But this one? This Porter Shreve guy? He’d read the whole book, thought about it carefully, understood its connection to Winesburg, Ohio, etc.
So I sent him a thank you note. Are you supposed to send a thank you note to people who review your books? I don’t know. I did it anyway.
A year later, Barbara Shoup at the Indiana Writers Center asked if I’d come give a talk led by Porter Shreve. We got along famously.
There are only a handful of people who have really championed me and my work, and he’s one of them, and I’m incredibly grateful for his support.