“I had just left my girlfriend and I missed her terribly. So part of me was very depressed. But another part of me was exhilarated, by being here with people who were not only smart guys but also from both sides of the world. This is one of the beauties of Oxford. At Harvard at that time, there were almost no foreign students that you would come in touch with. All of sudden, there were all these people, not only from the Commonwealth countries but also all the Rhodes group. And that was totally exhilarating. It was magical, and part of that magic was – and I guess that’s what I wrote about in House of God – some of the places and the nature: Addison’s Walk at Magdalen, for instance, and the deer park. And that’s where the goodness and tranquility touched the depression, because I was hit by the beauty around me. What was also very reassuring to me was the permanence of Oxford. I remember the first time when I walked across the steps of Balliol and I felt my foot go down under the groove in the stone made by endless feet, and thinking, Oh my God, there’s nothing in America like that. There was something about the solidity, permanence and beauty of Oxford, and its world focus, that was really very helpful to me”
And please join us @ the book launch for At the Heart of the Universe:
Best-selling author Samuel Shem discusses his latest novel, At The Heart of the Universe (Seven Stories Press), from 7 to 8:45 p.m. on Nov. 14 at the SoHo Playhouse, New York City. Joining Shem for this deeply personal evening of story-telling and dialogue with the audience will be his wife, the author Janet Surrey, and their daughter, Katie Surrey Bergman–and moderator Adam Pertman (Adoption Nation).