I never felt that I belonged in the literary scene of New York. That whole “brat pack” thing—Jay McInerney and Tama Janowitz… was a myth. It never existed. I hung out with my own friends who were my age.
The publishing scene got too claustrophobic, too cliquey, too irritating. I was tired of hearing people complain about the size of other people’s advances… who got an excerpt of their forthcoming novel in The New Yorker and who didn’t… who got their story published in The Paris Review… I was tired of all the gossip and of watching people suck up to editors and agents and writers because they felt they had to stay connected.
The general snootiness about [Jonathan] Franzen’s success that you could smell wafting off the literary scene grossed me out and became indicative of something ominous to me.
I just couldn’t put up with the pettiness of it all anymore. I didn’t want to have cocktails in the lobby of [MoMA] and… listen to writers give speeches. I didn’t want to go to another book party at Pravda… I found myself thinking more often than not when I’d receive an invitation, I’d rather cut my head off with a knife.”