by Pat Holt

Friday, October 30, 1998


Former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, now prez of that once-stuffy but let's hope now-lively AAP (Association of American Publishers), is set to speak at the San Francisco Bay Area Book Festival (, and should pack 'em in the night before (Friday, November 6) at a benefit for the National Women's Political Caucus (415) 922-5004. Admission is steep ($100) but maybe she'll tell a story from her book, "Twenty-Four Years of Housework . . . And the Place Is Still a Mess" (Andrews & McMeel; 288 pages; $24.95), that many critics couldn't include in their "family newspaper" reviews.

The best such story follows Pat around D.C. giving relatively the same speech to four different groups. In it, she likens her Democrat self to the little Dutch boy attempting to hold back a flood of conservative waters by putting her finger in the dike. The speech receives increasingly positive response until she arrives at a local gay and lesbian group, where the line (this is a paraphrase), ". . . and there I stood like the little Dutch boy with my finger in the dike" suddenly quieted the otherwise responsive group, then drew scattered giggles and titters as Schroeder stood there with arm and finger outstretched. At that point, she saw her husband quietly and with charming disloyalty step out of the back of the room and into the shadows.

But! Can Schroeder tell similarly colorful stories about the AAP? We'll know soon. Anyone wanting to attend the National Writers Union panel on publishing differences between the West and East Coasts, call 415 547-4123.

Chapter 8 of Remainders of the Day, which originally ran in this column, can be found with the rest of the story in a separate column on this website.