In a piece about Wallace Stegner’s birthday, Timothy Egan recalls a hilarious interaction between an irritated author and an editor. Here’s the bit:
Norman Maclean, the Montana native whose gin-clear prose makes “A River Runs Through It” an American treasure, certainly carried some of the Stegnarian chip on his western shoulder.
After the success of his first book, Maclean was approached in 1981 by an editor at Knopf publishing, which had rejected the novel but was eager to take on his next project. Maclean wrote back in compacted fury.
“If the situation ever arose when Alfred A. Knopf was the only publishing house remaining in the world and I were the sole surviving author,” Maclean wrote, “that would mark the end of the world of books.”
The whole article on Stegner is worth reading, but that interaction just made me chuckle.