Of course the success of A Boy's Own Story took me utterly off guard.
I think sincerity was my sole aesthetic and realism my experimental technique.
These rejections hurt me terribly because I felt it was my life that was being rejected.
The first version of The Beautiful Room Is Empty was the first mss. I'd ever submitted to New York editors.
Biography can be the most middle-class of all forms, the judgment of little people avenging themselves on the great.
If I take a less defensive tone, I'd admit that I couldn't write today a very jazzy, contemporary look at America as I did in 1979 in States of Desire.
As a young teenager I looked desperately for things to read that might excuse me or assure me I wasn't the only one, that might confirm an identity I was unhappily piecing together.
I didn't want to write a biographie romancee especially since I already write novels, nor did I want to challenge the rules of the biography game, arbitrary as those rules might be.
I think that there are empty ecological niches in the literary landscape crying to be filled and when a book more or less fills a niche it's seized on, even when it's a far from perfect fit.
Whereas fiction is a continual discovery of what one wants to say, what one feels, what one means, and is, in that sense, a performance art, biography requires different skills - research and organization.