John Sayles' AMIGO and A Moment in the Sun out at last.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day One Trinity College, Hartford CT

What a nice first day. We used our Magellan GPS to take back roads from home in Dutchess Co. Spring is zoomin around here and we passed lambs and calves in bright green fields. This is an old part of the country and we enjoyed seeing old houses and old trees, and even old closed factories. Time marches on.

Trinity College is a pretty campus high on a hill. On a Friday afternoon during exam week we weren't too surprised not to see many students at the reading, but there was a good turnout of adults, many of them Trinity faculty. John read from the chapters "Homecoming" and "Correspondence" where the speaker is the Humorist. That's Mark Twain, whose home is an asset to Hartford. We have made the pilgrimage.

The pictures I took of the reading were not worth showing. Instead, meet our hosts Michael Preston and Barbara Karger
  We left them after morning coffee and after a short time on the road home we had our first Road Food
Bristol, CT. Good seafood platter, great hostess, and all the chat was of fashions at the Wedding.
What wedding?  These folks got up early to watch.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Ready, Get Set, Go!

This is the Moment-ary Book Tour in a box. Every city, every stop, every hotel reservation, contacts and parking information. As John said to me the other day, "you literally can't pay someone to do this job".
And I love doing it. Can't wait to set off.
Day One is easy, just to Hartford. We'll spend the nigh theret with our pals Michael Preston and Barbara Karger and drive back home tomorrow. Like a trial run.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's time to meet each other

Fans of AMIGO and John Sayles filmmaker, meet the A MOMENT IN THE SUN crowd. John is a novelist and a short story writer too. The sticker on the cover of A MOMENT IN THE SUN calls John Sayles "a master storyteller". That's it, in film or on the page.

This is by way of saying that for the next 40 days AMIGO blog is expanding to include John's novel. Follow our progress across the country and back as John and I stop at independent bookstores  East to West and back again.

We won't lose sight of AMIGO and you'll be hearing about plans for its release in the Philippines in July and the US in August.

You'll be hearing that a large part of A MOMENT IN THE SUN is set during the Philippine-American War, which is the setting of AMIGO. Stay tuned to the blog and you'll hear and see John talk about the origins of both stories.

I hope you'll introduce yourselves to me if we see you on the road. Now go buy the book at an independent bookstore or from McSweeney's

See ya.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Moment in the Sun Book Tour Dates

Here it is, 40 days and 40 nights we are on the road, stopping at independent bookstores and a few libraries where John will read from many different chapters of his very big book. Please look for the city near you and contact the venue. In some cases you need a reservation and you'll see LA ALOUD is already sold out. Please also pass along this list to friends so they can catch a reading nearby. John does a good show.

•April 29 Friday          4:00pm
Trinity Bookstore, Mather Hall, Terrace Room A
Trinity College 300 Summit Street, Hartford, CT

•April 30 Saturday      7:30pm
Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, NY

•May 2 Monday          7:30pm
Philadelphia Free Library, Philadelphia, PA

•May 3 Tuesday          7:00pm
Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

•May 4 Wednesday    6:30pm
Gotham Center @ CUNY, Elebash Recital Hall, New York, NY

•May 5 Thursday        7:00pm
Atomic Books, Baltimore MD

•May 6 Friday             6:00pm 
Busboys & Poets (in the Langston Room), Washington, DC 

•May 7 Saturday         7:00pm 
Malaprops, Asheville, NC
•May 9 Monday          7:00pm
Carmichael's, Louisville, KY

•May 10 Tuesday        5:00pm
Square Books, Oxford MS
•May 11 Wednesday  6:00pm
Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA

•May 13 Friday           7:00pm
BookPeople, Austin, TX
•May 14 Saturday       4:00pm 
El Paso Main Library, El Paso, TX

•May 15 Sunday         3:00pm 
Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM
•May 19 Thursday      7:00pm   SOLD OUT
ALOUD, Los  Angeles, CA

•May 20 Friday           7:00pm
Chaucer's, Santa Barbara, CA

•May 21 Saturday       7:00 pm
Diesel Books, Oakland, CA                                               

•May 22 Sunday          6:30 pm          
Tosca, 242 San Francisco, CA            
Sponsored by Green Apple Books 506 Clement St @6th Ave
•May 24 Tuesday      7:30pm
Powells, 1005 Burnside Portland, OR

•May 25 Wednesday   7:00pm 
Elliott Bay, Seattle, WA

•May 27 Friday     7:00pm 
Sam Weller's, Salt Lake City, UT                                                     

•May 29 Sunday     2:00pm
Tattered Cover, Denver, CO                     

•May 31 Tuesday     7:30pm 
Magers & Quinn, Minneapolis, MN
•June 1 Wednesday    7:00pm 
Prairie Lights, Iowa City, IA
•June 2 Thursday     7:00pm 
Pudd'nHead Books, St. Louis, MO

•June 4 Saturday         TBD
Printer's Row Literary Festival, Chicago, IL
•June 7 Tuesday      7:00pm
Schenectady Light Opera                               
The Open Door Bookstore, Schenectady, NY

Friday, April 15, 2011

A great review of the "cat-squasher" from Kirkus Review

 Noted novelist/director Sayles (Union Dues, 2005, etc.) turns in an epic of Manifest Destiny—and crossed destinies—so sweeping and vast that even he would have trouble filming it.

The year is 1897. As Sayles' cat-squasher of a book opens, a greenhorn arrival at the Alaska gold fields meets a man named Joe Raven, who “is something called a Tlingit and there is no bargaining with him.” As so often happens in Sayles’s filmic narratives, the native man possesses wisdom that is crucial for survival—but, alas, too few of the Anglo newcomers, sure of the superiority of American civilization, are willing to admit his usefulness. Hod, the newcomer, is assured that American civilization will come through for him: remarks a fellow miner, “Got a steady man in the White House who understands there are fortunes to be made if the government will just step out of the way and let us at em.” Holy shades of Ron Paul, Batman. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific, a young Filipino, Diosdado Concepción, is preparing himself for battle against the colonizers of his island; he is brash enough that a fellow fighter is moved to caution, “I am a patriot...but not a suicide." Farther away still are two African-American soldiers, Royal Scott and Junior Lunceford, who are discovering just how racist the America of the turn of the century can be. Sayles pulls all these characters onto a huge global stage, setting them into motion as America goes to war against Spain and takes its first giant step toward becoming a world power. The narrative is full of historical lessons of the Howard Zinn/Studs Terkel radical-revisionist school, but Sayles is too good a writer to be a propagandist; his stories tell their own lessons, and many will be surprises (who knew that there were lynchings in Brooklyn as well as the Deep South?).

A long time in coming, with an ending that's one of the most memorable in recent literature. A superb novel, as grand in its vision as one of President McKinley’s dreams—but not for a moment, as Sayles writes of that figure, “empty of thought, of emotion.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

John Sayles Reading in NYC

I am working on the final and complete itinerary for the A MOMENT IN THE SUN TOUR and I promise to post it soon. 

John's one and only reading in New York City is at the Gotham Center in the old B. Altman Department store, now a very nice auditorium. Put the date on your calendar. See you there Maggie

Presenting our Spring 2011 Gotham History Forum: 
John Sayles’ A Moment in the Sun Book Launch
This is John Sayles only stop in NYC on a multi-city book tour
Wednesday, May 4th, 6:30 p.m.
CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue @ 34th Street – Recital Hall
John Sayles’s monumental new novel, A Moment in the Sun, is set at the turn of the 20th century, as America is struggling to define itself in a rapidly changing world. It is a time that sees the contentious dawn of U.S. imperialism in Cuba and the Philippines, the last desperate stand of Reconstruction in the American South, and the development of mass media, especially motion pictures, as the lens through which the public will increasingly interpret world events. Traveling from the Yukon gold fields, to New York’s bustling Newspaper Row, to Wilmington’s deadly racial coup of 1898, to the bitter triumph at San Juan Hill in Cuba, and to war zones in the Philippines, A Moment in the Sun is a book as big as its subject: history rediscovered through the lives of the people who made it happen.
Book signing to follow
Tickets are $8; Members, $6. No Surcharges. To purchase tickets, call 212-868-4444 or click here. To join the Graduate Center's Membership Program and receive an instant 25% discount code, click here.
For more information:

212 817 8460

Friday, April 8, 2011

It's Not You, It's Me/ No Eres Tú, Soy Yo

It;s a new romantic comedy by our good friend Alejandro Springall (My Mexican Shivah) playing this week in 20 cities with 226 print! Beacuse it's being advertised only in hispanic media so you might not know IT'S FOR YOU.

Check out the nice review by Kevin Thomas in the LA Times:

Eugenio Derbez brings to mind the late Dudley Moore. He's diminutive, not classically handsome but attractive with a wistful air that's crucial to the success of "No Eres Tú, Soy Yo" (It's Not You, It's Me), a jaunty, clever comedy that is as rueful as it is romantic. Its distributor is targeting Spanish-speaking audiences at selected theaters throughout Southern California, but the film's appeal is universal.

It has a much lighter, breezier touch than most of its Hollywood counterparts; it's sexy without being crass, easy and relaxed rather than slick.

Derbez's Javier is a Mexico City cardiologist in the midst of a passionate relationship with the gorgeous Maria (Alejandra Barros) when he receives a tempting offer in Miami. Javier doesn't even have to wait for a visa; all he has to do is marry Maria, who apparently holds American citizenship. She goes to the States in advance of Javier but almost immediately calls him to confess that she has had a fling with a Palm Beach doctor. The devastated Javier asks where he has gone wrong, and Maria makes the timeless reply that is the film's title.

Director Alejandro Springall and his co-scripter Luis Aura chart the coming apart of Javier's life and career with compassionate humor. Not only is the poor guy, once past the initial shock, looking for a new romance but also a new job. He pursues all the wrong women while overlooking the exquisite, self-possessed pet shop clerk (Martina Garcia). Eventually, of course, he takes notice of her, and his life takes a turn for the much better — but then…

What could so easily seem slight "No Eres Tú, Soy Yo" skillfully makes surprisingly poignant.

"No Eres Tú, Soy Yo." Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity and language. In Spanish with English subtitles. Running time: 2 hours, 19 minutes. In limited release.


Suzanna Hermans from Oblong Books in Rhinebeck NY has set up a page where people can pre-order  from Oblong a SIGNED copy of John's book.

For John's fans around the country, for shipment right to your door. Amazon works too, but this way your copied is SIGNED and you support another great independent bookstore. To order and to learn more about John's reading at Oblong Books, click here <>

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Check out this glowing review for A MOMENT IN THE SUN

             In his most spectacular work of fiction to date, filmmaker Sayles combines wonder and outrage in a vigorous dramatization of overlooked and downright shameful aspects of turn-of-the-nineteenth-century America. Fascinated by the roiling nation’s multicultural spectrum and human impulses corrupt and altruistic, Sayles recreates the ferment and conflicts of the Yukon gold rush, hobo life, New York’s sweatshops, the race riot and white supremacist coup in Wilmington, North Carolina, and the covered-up horrors of the Philippine American War (the focus of Sayles’s forthcoming film, AMIGO). Real-life figures appear, including President McKinley and his assassin and anti-imperialist Mark Twain, but it is Sayles’ vital invented characters who rule, from sweet, hapless Hod, who survives the brutality of mines, the boxing ring, jail, and the military without losing his faith in romance, to his wry Native American road buddy, Big Ten; the Luncefords, a cultured African American family that suffers an appalling reversal of fortune; Mei, a Chinese woman forced into prostitution; and Diosdado, a young Filipino rebel. Crackling with rare historical details, spiked with caustic humor, and fueled by incandescent wrath over racism, sexism, and serial injustice against working people, Sayles’ hard-driving yet penetrating and compassionate saga explicates the “fever dream” of commerce, the crimes of war, and the dream of redemption.

— Donna Seaman
Book List 4/15/11

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What ever became of the Baryo?

You'll remember that we had hoped that the village set we left behind might become a Living Museum? That didn't work out, but instead under the direction of Cooper/Procopio Resabal the Village Background Extras formed the Baryo Amigo Cultural Troupe. Their debut performance was just before the Bohol premier of AMIGO. (See the blog post from Febuary 15, 2011)
The latest development is that the Baryo Amigo Cultural Troupe has been asked to open Heritage Month in Bohol on May 9 or 11. Tigum Bol-Anon sa Tibook Kalibutan ( an international organization of Boholanos), has its annual gathering in Bohol this year and it  will feature BACT in its program. They have been offered a new package in the form of Scenes in Bohol Republic, more dances, a wedding scene, and possibly, a children's number and some "harana" (serenade) and funny Boholano ditties. This should also mean some income for the BACT!

And since many Toril folks have not seen the BACT's performance, they have been scheduled to perform for the end of the "Flores de Mayo" (May 30).
I am hoping for photos at least, if not some video of the performances.

Good luck!
Please send us photos or video of the performances. I'd be pleased to post them.