Book Trailer The Noble Train

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Donna Tart and The Cretin

When Donna Tarts first book came out I went to her book signing in Chicago. It was crowded and there was no where to even stand. You could not see her reading My Secret History. I was an aspiring novelist and I wanted to see and hear a big time writer whose first novel was setting the literary world on fire. And so I stood on the lip of a bookshelf and I could see her. The place was jammed with people holding their books waiting for her to sign. Then...crack.

The bookshelf snapped and the books spilled out. Not to be daunted I moved to another bookshelf. So far so good and then crack. The books spilled out. A woman came running over and started scooping up the books. A man with a beard stared at me and said: Don't just stand there. Help her you cretin. I was frozen. I couldn't move. I stepped close to the man and said. You're the cretin pal. He took a big step back. A pissed off wannabe writer can inflict harm.

Then I  left. And Donna Tart went on to literary fame and a kind of literary life that really only exists for the one percent if even that. Not marrying or having kids she went into seclusion only to emerge every ten years for another book. I married and had kids and published books and perched in Hemingway's attic and lived the life of the struggling author. Donna lived in New York and Europe and doesn't give interviews or go on the net except to find restaurants. I use the net until my eyes bleed.

And now she has another book. Another smash. Then she will go into her vaunted seclusion. And the cretin is still writing. Still publishing.  Still marketing. Still trying to find another bookshelf to catch a glimpse of that big time literary writer.
The Pitcher

Books by William Hazelgrove