Also, intolerant, filled with self-loathing, susceptible to addictions, neurotic….

Children, spouses and friends of writers reveal in a new British book that writers are a vain, self-pitying and arrogant lot. Mr. Maud could’ve told you that, but this book is about vaunted writers like John Updike and William Golding.

Unfortunately, judging by the review, the anecdotes aren’t especially juicy or unexpected. No thrown dishes or manuscripts torched in rage. No title, even.

I read a New Yorker interview with V.S. Naipaul a few years ago. During the interview, which was held at his house, Naipaul’s wife picked up the phone and had a long conversation. As she talked, he fumed and ranted to the interviewer about the sound of women’s voices. How much fun must it be to live with him? That’s what I want to know.


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