Jean Feraca will be at LaDeDa on March 30, and to say I am thrilled would be an understatement. Her radio show, Here on Earth, is among my favorite NPR broadcasts because it is unpredictable. Her palate is so sophisticated that she covers a myriad of topics with apparent ease. Of course, the amount of research that goes into each program is evident, but her interview skills show that she not only does her prep work, but she is also a sincere people person.
I am reading her book, I Hear Voices, and am surprised with each page turn. She has made brave choices throughout the book. The one that impressed me most was her decision to begin, rather than end the book, with her brother's death. I can't wait to ask her how she made that choice. Jean tells about her life by recounting the stories of other people close to her.
She is adept at word selection - her opening sentences of each chapter alone are worth the price of the book. She begins chapter two by writing "My mother was a monster who lived well into her nineties." She follows that line with story upon story of a family haunted by generations of dysfunction. Just when you think you can't take any more, Jean adroitly pops in a whimsical little tale of the tightrope walking cat who plunged to his death in a gingham dress and bonnet.
My admiration for her grows with each bit I read.