“Gifts Not Yet Given” First Wonderful Quote – from Richard Kramer, novelist “These Things Happen”
One of the best books I’ve read this year has been the very funny and poetic These Things Happen, by novelist Richard Kramer. In my long-ago L.A. days, I was friendly with Richard and will always think fondly of him, our chats over coffee back when The Abbey was only a coffee house, and one particularly memorable evening involving Richard, Bernadette Peters, and some other dear friends, Dean Pitchford and Craig Zadan.
As a struggling actor trying to make it in Hollywood, I was awed by Richard’s enviable career trajectory as writer-director-producer on such shows as thirtysomething, My So-Called Life, and the Tales of the City miniseries, to name just a few. While his wit was well-known to me, what surprised me most about his debut novel was by how he managed to magically weave a tapestry from multiple characters and their varied points-of-view, highlighting the most central themes in one beautiful and climatic scene.
While he and I have largely lost touch, reconnecting only on Facebook, I was so moved by his book that I took a chance, asking him if he’d read my Gifts Not Yet Given. He did and was generous enough to share the following quote. I am in awe, and incredibly appreciative of his kind words:
“Kergan Edwards-Stout’s stories are muscular, funny, sad and an antidote to holiday treacle, no matter the holiday. His writing is fueled by an original mix of compassion and rage. Several of the stories left me in tears, which certainly beats being left in tears by my own family at holiday time. Which means: he understands family, and the often crossed wires of family love. You will want to give his book as a gift.” – Richard Kramer, novelist, These Things Happen