During the first weekend of October, I’ll be giving readings/talks on two of my books (“Morning Glory” and “Gringa in a Strange Land”) at my old alma mater, U. of Wisconsin, Madison. I won’t be talking about how lost I felt, how unambitious, how all I wanted to do was go to foreign movies, read foreign books (“A Hundred Years of Solitude,” “Conversation in the Cathedral,” “Things Fall Apart”) and partake of foreign-grown substances. I knew I wanted to be a writer but couldn’t imagine how this could happen, had no idea of the processes involved. It was the 60’s and early 70’s and you could more or less study what you wanted. I still remember my wonderful, sexy Buddhist Thought teacher, my brilliant eccentric Portuguese teacher, my John Halderman-look-alike Latin American Studies profs Thiesenheusen and Felstehausen, the broken-down visiting English poet who drank with us and poured great verse into us in the bar, the Scandinavian literature expert. Didn’t know it at the time, but all of this I see now gave me my start – wherever it is I am going.