My annotation of Paul Harding’s TINKERS is up at Annotation Nation.
I’ve been thinking a lot about narcissism and writers, especially since the Mailer Colony. Reviews of his widow’s memoir, A TICKET TO THE CIRCUS mention “the book does little to dispel the image of Mailer as a narcissistic hothead with redeeming streaks of cuddliness and charm…” Jesse Kornbluth wrote, “Despite his fabled, self-conscious narcissism and his hefty ego, Mailer was in some ways not a conventionally autobiographical novelist, though he was certainly an autobiographical journalist.” (I’m currently reading MENTOR: A MEMOIR and Grimes has a passing encounter with Mailer too. He’s everywhere!) Rona Fernandez writes about this subject and we both have heard from Chitra Divakaruni that it’s possible to be a good person and a good writer. Necessary even. Not that Mailer was a bad person. He wasn’t and he was very generous to young writers. Anyway, I agree with Fernadez’ conclusion that most writers aren’t narcissistic. I would add that you can’t be because part of the job description is being able to imagine other people in all their glorious imperfection.