A fight over Spam at Cosco, lines around the block at gas stations, two curious tourists who had to be escorted off the beach, roads closed, an overnight vigil…my first all-nighter since college…
What to read while waiting for the wipeout? Forgot to pack my library book with the flashlight and windup radio from National Geographic. Luckily someone lent me an old copy of David Dary’s The Sante Fe Trail; I was thinking it might be nice to be landlocked right now.
We read at the whim of the writers who imagine a story and then live through it – mentally in most cases – to tell the tale. Whether fiction, memoir, or factual, the story lives in the mind of the author until it is finished. But, when “The Hand of Dread,” as noted in the Dan Kois New York Times essay Burn Before Reading, grabs the author, the book may be dead – midsentence – never to be seen (unless an enterprising geek finds and posts it on the internet – as was the case with Stephanie Meyer’s 12 chapters of “Midnight Sun”).
Kois lists books that were abandoned by famous authors: Truman Capote, Jennifer Egan, Stephen King, Michael Chabon, John Updike, Evelyn Waugh.
Why would a novel be ‘”wrecked”? Authors, always sensitive creatures, might abandon a book in a fit of despair.
Others stop writing, just because ” the novel isn’t working.” Whatever the reasons, all the authors went on to produce published work: Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, The Adventures of Augie March…
But we will never read Michael Chabon’s Fountain City.
Read the Article: Burn Before Reading