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A Slant of Wind

The prolific Georges Simenon was convinced that “writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness.” “Let’s face it,” William Styron concluded, “writing is hell.”

But now, under the oaks on a summer afternoon, I remember none of that. I remember only the joy, the exuberance of taking an idea and working with it, of daily tackling and solving the myriad challenges each chapter, each page, every paragraph can present, of reading over a page that seems just right and adding another page to it, and then another. Of seeing pages accumulate and reading them again and again, with mounting satisfaction and pleasure.

The essays in this collection include “A Slant of Wind” and Some “Vampire Erotica” • From “Send Me a Man Who Reads” to “Who Reads? Send Me A Wide Receiver” • The Baffling Case of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Mystery of Best Sellers • An Author in Search of a Character — and Himself: Gore Vidal Meets Denham Fouts • A Character in Search of an Author: The Last Lord Tredegar • De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum: On the Folly of Reviewing Books • Jacqueline Susann: Patron Saint of Writers? • “My Huckleberry Friend”: Memories of Gloria Vanderbilt • “Apply it to the Problem, Gentlemen”

Author: Arthur Vanderbilt
Paperback : 196 pages
ISBN-10 : 1947175483
ISBN-13 : 978-1947175488

About the Author

A graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Arthur T. Vanderbilt II is the author of many books of history, biography, memoirs and essays. His books have been selections of the Book-of-the-Month Club, Reader’s Digest’s “Today’s Best Nonfiction,” the Easton Press Series of the 100 Best Books of American History, and other book clubs, and have been serialized in newspapers and magazines, translated into foreign languages, excerpted in anthologies, and optioned for television and film. He lives in New Jersey.

A Slant of Wind” is wonderfully readable: funny, illuminating, informative, gossipy, wise. Arthur Vanderbilt writes so convincingly of the paradoxes, perils, and pleasures of the writing life, with reference to such notables as Scott Fitzgerald and Gore Vidal, that one would swear he’d lived among them as a close friend. The most beautiful of the recollections is “My Huckleberry Friend: Memories of Gloria Vanderbilt” — an account of a late-in-life (for Gloria) friendship with her writer-cousin Arthur from a distant branch of the Vanderbilt family. Highly recommended.

— Joyce Carol Oates

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