In the early part of the last century my great-grandfather would hitch up his horse when the fields froze each winter and head out across upstate New York hawking various goods and sundries, including books. That may explain some part of why my walk to the bookstore Saturday morning was so thrilling as I passed the Waltham Farmer's Market and saw a cart of books helmed by acclaimed author Jonathan Papernick.
I discovered Papernick's first short story collection five years ago. "The Ascent of Eli Israel," was a stunning debut of relentlessly evocative stories set in Jerusalem after the assasination of Yitzhak Rabin. This summer, Papernick has gone as old school as your great-aunt Gidl, getting out the cart and doing something booksellers wish all authors could do -- handselling copies of his fabulous new collection of short stories, "There is No Other," one copy at a time at local markets with the slogan, "Bringing Market-Fresh Fiction Directly to the People."
A self-styled "Book Peddler", Papernick has dared to do what few writers can, writing about people who we may not always love, on subjects we may not always find comfortable, with such passion and skill that we are reminded why great tales are grand adventures. He has brought that passion to the art of seeking out new readers, and used the oldest method of bookselling out there to do it. You can bring him to your town as he makes his way from New England to the Upper West Side on October 2, market by market. It can be said, there is no other writer out there like Jonathan Papernick.