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A dear friend, Carol Pratl



Carol Pratl & Jim Haynes, 1989, Rights Reserved

Carol Pratl and Jim Haynes at the Russian/American/French feminists women conference in Paris (1989)




I am not sure when Carol and I first became aware of each other’s existence. It probably began at the Village Voice Bookshop in the early 1980s. The Village Voice exploded on the Paris literary scene and all of a sudden there was a meeting place. Because in those early exciting days, Odile not only had created one of the best English-language bookshops in Paris, but at the same time she created the place where we all met each other. The original Village Voice contained a superb coffee and tea café – with excellent salads and brownies. Because it was so intimate, one had to share tables. In so doing, of course, people met one another. It was here that we first encountered Carol. She was studying Russian language and literature, was fluent in French, and quickly became a force in the local literary scene – not only in the English-speaking community, but also with the French-speaking one.
Many of us were active. I helped Odile to create the reading series that has become world famous. We all helped out in the bookshop and café whenever Odile needed us. For a while, I ran the bookshop every Friday afternoon in order to give Odile a little time away from the shop. The small kitchen-table publishing house, Handshake Editions, began in my atelier in 1980 in order to publish Ted Joans who was scheduled to read at UNESCO. And then we started publishing local writers. One of my first books, Everything Is!, was published by Handshake Editions. With John Strand and Randy Koral, we launched the literary magazine, Paris Exiles. Carol launched Sphinx. Joseph Simas launched Moving Letters Press. And David Applefield re-launched Frank. There were readings, there were parties, it was a heady atmosphere. We were the center of the world and Carol was in the center of the center. She was everywhere. Always helpful. Always full of positive energy.

The research for my People to People travel guides began in the 80s. My first trip to Russia, in 1985, was organized by Carol. Lisa Nesselson, Layne Jackson, Sylvie Daniel, Ulla Larson and another half dozen of us were introduced to many Russians in St. Petersburg and in Moscow. Carol organized trips to the theatre and the ballet in both cities. In the early 90s, Carol and I traveled to Moscow together. We stayed with her friends in the city. By this time, she was becoming more and more involved with the Isadora Duncan legacy. Later, in the mid-90s, she organized an Isadora Duncan conference and a Isadora Duncan dance school in Moscow. One could go on and on about her positive energy and the many contributions Carol made to life in Russia and France. She was a ball of fire who burned brightly. She just burned out. Far too young. We all miss her. I hope she is dancing wherever she is now.

Carol Pratl
born 30 November 1959
died the 10th of June 2006 in Paris.


Jim Haynes, 2007






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