You’re right that editing is just the first level of hell. Getting published can be a nightmare and then you have to worry about how you’ll be received or if you’ll just be ignored. The whole process is pretty miserable, which makes me think that novel writing is for masochists. That old stereotype of the depressed, alcoholic, volatile writer persists for a reason. Even Zadie Smith has said that she can’t read her old novels without dying inside.
All along Richard is on the tip of a big deal, brokering it wildly like some bookmaker at OTB, and Lizzie is torturing a former lover by pretending to be someone she’s not. Lizzie is bored to death, Richard is earning enough for both of them. Their children, Coco the chinese baby is old enough to surf the internet, Jake is winning the “dumbest kid in Manhattan” award every day.
We’ve spilled some ink on James Salter in the recent past, including his recent receipt of the PEN/Malamud Award. Now Open Road is releasing two of his earlier novels in e-format. They’ve also put together this great video and, below, an excerpt from A Sport and A Pastime for us.
Good fiction is always about the particular, never about the general. The critic may tell you that Toni Morrison is writing about African American women, but she isn’t. She’s writing about Sula. Tim O’Brien isn’t writing about the Vietnam War; he’s writing about Jimmy Cross. Updike isn’t writing about New England WASPs; he’s writing about Rabbit Angstrom.
It’s amazing what you can learn about two people if you put them in a van together for a long drive into the country. Lily drives Noelle, with two of her kids in the back seat, to their parent’s place in Lenox. Even though Lily has promised herself that she’s not getting into a fight with youngest sister Noelle, it virtually happens anyway. Lily is totally secular and Noelle is an orthodox Jew. Noelle didn’t attend deceased brother Leo’s wedding because he married outside the faith.