Years and years ago, my sister handed me a book. And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to you, by Bay Area writer Kathi Kamen Goldmark.
For me, it was the first time I thought of Rock Fiction as a real genre. Maybe for my sister, it was foreshadowing, since she wound up in the Bay Area. You’d have to ask her.
Even beyond that, though, my copy holds a place of honor on my shelves. I truly loved that book, and every now and then, I debate re-reading it, to see if it will hold up since I’ve lived so much since I first read it. But then I think that as much as I loved it the first time, if I don’t love it this time, I’ll be shattered.
I doubt that’ll happen, to be honest. People continue to rave about this book. I’ve even had a chat with Goldmark’s literary agent about … the purpose of this post.
Goldmark passed on a few years ago, leaving behind an awful lot of unhappy friends, family, and fans. She also left behind one darn smart husband, who decided to take her mostly finished second novel and see it be published.
That book seems to have been released in June, and I totally need it. Just on principle. Just because the first book touched a chord so deeply within me — and within so many others, too.
Here’s the description. Maybe not as Rock Fiction as you may be expecting. But I bet this book rocks anyway:
Kathi Kamen Goldmark’s first novel, And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You, earned praise from an assortment of well-known authors including Amy Tan, Maya Angelou, Scott Turow, Judy Collins, Rita Mae Brown, Carl Hiaasen, and Roddy Doyle; and received positive reviews in O, the Oprah Magazine, the Miami Herald, the San Francisco Chronicle, and other publications.
Completed shortly before her untimely death from breast cancer, Goldmark’s Her Wild Oats is a honky-tonk road story about two unlikely pals: A smart young woman, Arizona Rosenblatt, leaves home and her role as assistant to a high-powered Hollywood executive when she discovers her husband is having an affair with a woman from Jews for Jesus; and thirteen-year-old Otis Ray “Wild Oats” Pixlie, boy genius harmonica player. In the end, Otis Ray learns what it means to be an adult, Arizona discovers the life she wants, and they both figure out the true meaning of love and family.