I walked the dog this morning before the sun came up and at one point I stopped, head tipped up, looking at the sky spangled with stars and thinking of Waldo. Waldo who is, as Dani Shapiro said on Tuesday with Claire Messud at Brookline Booksmith, the beating heart of this beautiful book. I finished Signal Fires last night and it without question belongs on my “best of 2022” list. What a gorgeous novel, both quiet and compelling, full of the shining strands that weave us together and into our own individual lives and into the great wide world at the same time. To me, this story is above all about time and memory (which are the great preoccupations of my own life). It’s also about love and family and forgiveness and the ineffable, unavoidable echo of the past through the present. I’m so grateful and honored to call Dani my teacher, literally (I took her class for several years) and figuratively (have read all of her work and consider her a role model both on the pages and in life). If you haven’t read Signal Fires, run. If you have, I’d love to talk about it. Thank you, Dani.