My career as Literary Figure proceeded through the decades from unattended readings at bookstores, poorly attended ones at libraries, better attended ones at writing conferences, and one overflow crowd at a literary festival. These days, reading to respectable crowds, I have become confident, though a single cough can raise the fear that the assembly, stricken en masse with bronchitis, will glide out one by one until I am left reading to the first cougher.
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