Author Ann Patchett has never seen social media, doesn’t own a cell & doesn’t watch TV

Embed from Getty Images
I don’t know a lot about author Ann Patchett, but I read about half of her latest very popular book, The Dutch House. This is typical of how I read and is not an indictment of the book, which was decent but didn’t pull me in. I often read about half of a book and give up as my attention span is low, especially lately. Even really trashy books can’t hold my interest and instead of reading I just fall asleep watching YouTube. Ann spoke to Seth Meyers last week. She owns a book store in Nashville where she lives calls Parnassus Books. Ann said that they remained closed up until October out of an abundance of caution. Online orders picked up so much around the holidays though that she and her sister had to work late into the night. She hasn’t had to lay off any workers and they’re now open again, with restrictions. I’m writing this story because I admire how dedicated Ann, 57, is to her lifestyle. She doesn’t watch TV and hasn’t seen major shows! She also doesn’t own a cell phone and although she makes video content for Instagram someone else posts it for her. She’s never even looked at Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

On her bookstore’s Instagram account, which she doesn’t use personally
It’s all about pivoting, figuring out how keep your business alive. I am somebody who has never looked at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any of it. Now I am on Instagram. The trick is I have never looked at it. A couple of times a week I make these short videos, usually wearing evening wear, in which I cuddle with a book for twenty seconds and talk about how fantastic it is. That’s my job. It’s a good job.

“You’re really missing out on social media. It is just a real pleasant place.”
I hear that about crack all the time too. It’s just amazingly good and I should try it just a little bit to see.

She doesn’t have a cell phone or watch TV
I also don’t have a cell phone. I am just a dinosaur. I write a lot and I read a lot and I live my life. I’m sure that I’m missing out on amazing things. For me to go back and catch the wave of the golden age of television – I haven’t watched The Sopranos, I haven’t watched Breaking Bad. I’m so far behind at this point I could never catch up.

[From The New Yorker]

I have a lot of questions about how she manages to do video interviews and make videos for Instagram without owning a phone. Does she just have one of her employees record the videos for her? I’m also wondering how she writes her books. Does she use a very old computer or a word processor like other authors? I tried to figure out what technology she uses to write and ended up with a lot of good advice from her on writing in general. I found an interview from 2019 where she said she had a flip phone, doesn’t text and doesn’t know how to check voicemail. So it’s not quite accurate that she doesn’t have a cell phone, although she could have gotten rid of it since.

Ann has also admitted that she’s so disconnected that she can’t write books using modern technology. She said, in 2011, “I just don’t know how to write a novel in which the characters can get in touch with all the other characters at any moment.” Many of her characters set in modern day end up losing their cell phones because of this. Giving up my phone is not something I would do as my entire job is online, but I know a lot of people wish they could disconnect more, if not entirely. She’s living life on her terms and it sounds kind of peaceful.

Here’s that interview:

Ann’s book recommendations on Instagram really sold me on a few books:

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photos credit: Getty. Photo on the frontpage is a screenshot from this video

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

81 Responses to “Author Ann Patchett has never seen social media, doesn’t own a cell & doesn’t watch TV”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. manda says:

    I read the Dutch House and it was a little so-so. Read Bel Canto! So good.

    • CROOKSNNANNIES says:

      Bel Canto was incredible!

    • Esmom says:

      Agreed. Bel Canto is great and so is State of Wonder, which sparked one of the more interesting discussions my book group has ever had. I enjoyed Run, too. Dutch House is not among my favorites, although I didn’t dislike it by any means.

    • Lee says:

      I enjoyed and can recommend The Dutch House as a talking book read by Tom Hanks. I think he made it come alive, versus what I think it must have been like on the page. Bel Canto (as a paper book) was amazing!

  2. Asia says:

    There’s something offputting about white women who take pride in this lifestyle. I can’t put my finger on it…

    • Mac says:

      I think it’s the enormous privilege of being a rich white woman who has staff who can do all the normal parts of life so she can live in a rarified bubble.

      • KT says:

        This. The whole “I don’t participate in the coarse culture of my customers” is always off-putting. Always.

        Actors who don’t watch TV, modern authors who don’t use a computer. It’s a “let them cake” cry.

        If you don’t enjoy TV, movies or cell phones, OK. That’s fine. The disdain, implied or implicit, for those who do is the issue. Pretty easy to say you don’t “have a cell phone” when your full-time assistant has to carry two so people can contact you. Plus, maintain the social media needed to sell books in 2021. When a fleet of low-paid interns has to make sense of your incomprehensible handwriting, rambling dictation or typewriter typos to produce the work only you receive profit and praise for.

        Would anyone an author who said, Oh I don’t fly or drive, because I just don’t believe in planes or cars, so I set my books in the modern world yet contrive for all my characters to get around on horseback? It’s pretentious and out of touch AF.

      • Anne Call says:

        It does bug me. I mean why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of modern life-there’s a gloating aspect of it that does reflect her privilege. Also I’m assuming she had no children because that’s how you communicate with anyone under 40.

      • MaryContrary says:

        @Anne Call: yep, she doesn’t have kids. If she had kids I don’t see how she wouldn’t have a cell or know anything about social media.

    • SamC says:

      I have a neighbor who several times has declared she proudly doesn’t have a TV, etc. whenever such things would come up in social gatherings (way back when). Then at some point she let it slip that she watches a few Netflix shows on her laptop….so I guess technically she’s not lying but come on already! That’s often what I think is the real deal when people declare such things.

      • Anne Call says:

        @marycontrary I text with my two adult children constantly (haven’t seen one since pandemic started) and FaceTime with granddaughter who we have only seen twice in a year. I’m so grateful for modern technology in this difficult year. It’s kept me sane. And thank god for peak TV!

  3. Joy says:

    There is something wrong with me because every time I see someone doing the “oh I don’t even have a phone or look at the internet” I feel haughtiness from it. Like sorry you peasants need these things to function.

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      I don’t think the problem is with you. There does seem to be a holier than thou vibe behind it.

    • manda says:

      Thank you for finding the word that I was looking for–haughtiness. It just seems off to me

    • SarahCS says:

      Yeah, same here. It may not be the case but that’s often what I feel coming through.

      It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, most of us can choose to go online and have social media accounts without it controlling your life. Sure it’s all designed to suck us in but knowing that you can put limits on what you do, who you follow, etc. My IG is pictures of my cat and I follow other cats (some dogs), nature, a few food bits. It’s a lovely place to check in on.

    • Anna says:

      That’s exactly what she”s radiating in the Seth Meyers video.

  4. Mc says:

    I LOVED the Dutch house and state of wonder. I tried twice to read bel canto but couldn’t get through the first few pages. I need to try again when I’m in the right state of mind. Sometimes I’m just in a book funk and can only read domestic thrillers.

  5. Ionio says:

    I actually loved the Dutch House and found it riveting.

    • Lucy2 says:

      I did too! It was such an interesting story.
      I’ve liked a few of her other books too.

      I can’t imagine not having a cell phone, even just for safety’s sake one out driving somewhere, even though we all grew up that way.

    • Hecate says:

      My take was it was her reinterpretation of the Cinderella story, focusing heavily on the motivations on both the mothers. I was absolutely engrossed. (That was just my thoughts, though. I could be totally off base)

  6. Dimsum Mum says:

    Bel Canto is one of my top 10 reads.

    I admire her work ethic.

  7. Roma says:

    I find that interesting, as now if you’re thinking about being an author they encourage you to have a large social media following or it’s difficult to get a publisher. I don’t think the “no technology” works as well if you’re new.

    I’m working on my first novel and now have a bookstagram account, hoping by the time I finish writing I’ll have some kind of a small following. But I’d rather not!

    • Darla says:

      What’s bookstagram?

      • Roma says:

        If you search the hashtag on Insta, it’s a really active community of people posting photos of books, reviews of books, stacks of books, joining book clubs… If you’re a real book lover and you get a following you can start receiving Advanced Reading Copyies (ARCs) of books from publishers! If you’re a book nerd, it’s a pretty interesting place.

    • Cath says:

      Interesting. Writers have to promote like musicians on YouTube!? How do you create a following?

      • duchess of hazard says:

        @Cath – normally publishers want to see you having a digital footprint (i.e. a twitter presence) and that you’re working on it, interacting with the public and so on before you even turn in a draft. Some writers I know of started off life in Tumblr or twitter, then got a following via that way, and then when they got a book deal, they can launch. Some writers have their own websites with bits of short stories (as well as a blog) so that you can get to know them.

  8. Tiffany says:

    I rolled my eyes so hard, I didn’t think they would return back as I was reading this.

  9. Quaint Louise says:

    Yeaaaah. I loved State of Wonder and Bel Canto, but….the least she could do is acknowledge that she’s coming from an enormous platform of privilege to be able to have a presence on Instagram (in eveningwear!), promoting her very successful business and career, while having to lift neither finger nor phone to even *see* the content posted by someone else in her name. Damn 2021, I didn’t have “drag my favorite author” on my bingo card 😒

  10. duchess of hazard says:

    Wow. That’s… wild. That’s so wild.

    My last two jobs I pretty much had to interview over Zoom, and upload vidoes of myself answering questions before I even got a look in (I did this on my mobile phone). To live without the internet is just… gobsmacking to me.

    I do have some analog in my life, such as I do have a paper bujo and try to keep a language journal, but this is really shocking to me.

    Nice for some!

    ETA: read the link and she says that her first draft is the only draft? Good golly. I’m going to try that next time.

  11. Miranda says:

    What qualifications does one need to put on a pretty dress and cuddle with books? Because that sounds like my dream job. Do I have to be an author myself? Would it count if I just self-published some bullshit poetry or super cringe-y erotica or something?

  12. GrnieWnie says:

    and she is almost certainly a happier person for it

  13. Rapunzel says:

    Anyone who chooses this lifestyle is pretensious af. And stupid as hell.

    Don’t these people realize they are missing access to breaking news? That can be dangerous.

    And how does she research her without the internet?

    • Sandra says:

      People got along fine by reading newspapers and listening to the radio for their news. They also got along fine with researching before there was internet. We have centuries upon centuries of books that were pre internet.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Sandra- so?? People got along without cars and planes, but do you want to use horse and buggy?

        It’s pretentious and stupid. Physical Newspapers contain old information. You are an idiot to limit yourself to that. And research without the internet is laborious and nowhere near as up to date, which would mean your research sucks. And I’m sure Ann P has assistants she’s forcing to do that research cause she can’t have lousy research.

    • Sarah says:

      To be fair, she didn’t say that she doesn’t have a computer or isn’t online – she just said that she doesn’t have a smartphone or use social media. She probably still uses the internet.

      • Rapunzel says:

        I misread- she apparently does have the internet. I’m fine with that. Social media isn’t that important.

        But staying away from all breaking news to be offline is ridiculous. Glad she’s not doing that. But she should still at least have a basic flip phone for emergencies.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think she’s using the internet, but not social media. Pretentious? Maybe. But honestly the more time I spend on twitter and checking for breaking news, the unhappier and more stressed I am. It felt very addictive around the election and inauguration, and I’m trying to stay off it again.

      At the same time, she is privileged to be able to hire someone to do all her social media work and promotion for her, which most people can’t do.

    • Teely says:

      The level of your anger is strange. Seek help.

  14. NΞΞNΔ ZΞΞ says:

    Has anyone read Autobiography of a Face or Truth & Beauty? Ann Patchett had a friend named Lucy Grealey, who lost part of her jaw to cancer. The former is by Lucy about her life, the latter is Ann’s book about knowing Lucy. I read them back-to-back. Interesting and moving.

    • Amelie says:

      I’ve read Autobiography of a Face!!! I can’t remember if I read it in high school or later but I know I read it. I haven’t read Ann’s book yet of their friendship. One of the most moving and powerful books I’ve ever read. When I finally did see a picture of Lucy’s face (which I didn’t see until after I finished the book), I didn’t think she looked hideously disfigured. Sure, you could tell maybe she’d had some surgery but I was surprised at how normal looking she seemed considering the entire book details her horrific experience with cancer of the jaw as a kid.

    • PixiePaperdroll says:

      Came here looking for this. LOVED both of them.

  15. Blerg says:

    Thank you for this post. I am reading Bel Canto right now and it’s just lovely. I have become a fan, but didn’t know she does the book videos on Parnassus’s account. I will go check those out.

    And let her keep being her luddite self if that is working for her, which it seems to be.

  16. CROOKSNNANNIES says:

    About the general pretentiousness that this sounds like- I grew up in a similar household. No television, no computer until I was a preteen, no cell phone until I was 16. We didn’t have a radio but had a CD player.

    At the time my peers thought I was weird because I didn’t get a lot of references to TV shows, pop stars, etc. Talking about it now people react like I’m being a show-off, but like… clearly I use these things now and I was a CHILD. I doubt I would have chosen that lifestyle for myself.

    However my mom does take great pride in that we didn’t have much technology, as she raised “strong readers.” I have many well-read friends who grew up with televisions.

    • Anna says:

      Same but growing up not in U.S. in a very rural area without access to running water or consistent electricity. The learning curve is steep especially if you don’t want to be laughed at by your peers for not knowing references.

  17. Lee says:

    If you are an audible listener, The Dutch House is narrated by Tom Hanks, and it is an amazing listen…

    • Amanda says:

      I couldn’t agree more on the Dutch House, Tom Hanks was phenomenal (of course) and really brought that book to life. Might be one of the only audio books I cried listening to! Truly one of the best audio books I’ve ever heard.

    • lucy2 says:

      A good voice over actor can really bring a book to life. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, they really can add to it, and Hanks was great for that one.

      A bad one can ruin a book though too, I’ve shut quite a few off when I can’t stand the voice!

    • Anne Call says:

      Yes, it was slightly distracting at first to have such a familiar voice reading it, but I ended up really liking the book. Mainly listening and reading mysteries and memoirs these days so it’s nice to intersperse a good novel in my rotation. I also grew up in a two librarian household read all the time and also watched lots of good tv (and still do). One doesn’t preclude the other.

  18. FilmTurtle says:

    That kind of luddite lifestyle works if you’re already famous and wealthy and you have people to handle things for you (and you don’t care, as she clearly does not to check up on what your handlers are posting for you). Nowadays, it’s simply impossible. Authors are expected to be their own publicists and actively engage on social media. I admire her dedication to her bookstore, but (as others have said) it’s an enormous privilege to be able to cut yourself off from the world and then shrug about it.

  19. Other Renee says:

    I looked at her Instagram account and four days ago they shut down to the public due to one of their staff testing positive for covid.

    I don’t have a problem with anyone not wanting to spend their days on social media or scrolling through their cell phone for hours. It’s addictive. Period. I’d like to do an experiment and not touch my phone for a day and see how that feels. Why would anyone criticize anyone else for making that choice?

    • Jamie says:

      Though I don’t have the wealth and status Ann has, I don’t have social media and I really don’t watch much TV/streaming. But it’s more of an issue of not having the time and having mental health issues.

      My job deals with highly confidential information and mobile phones aren’t permitted in the building, and once I get home I’m busy with housework and caring for my elderly mother, so I don’t do much scrolling throughout the day. As far as news, since I realize I’m so disconnected from the latest updates, I make it a point to check news sites at least once a day and I listen to npr on the drive to and from work, so I’m aware of what’s going on. But I must say, I do like that it’s my choice when I engage with the news, instead of my day being dictated by countless updates (important and not important).

    • SarahCS says:

      I do no-tech Saturdays. I can call and text people but that’s all I pick my phone up for. It’s not 100% every single Saturday but it helps me think about how I use my downtime.

  20. Thaisajs says:

    I’m really curious how you can write about people when you don’t live like most people? Unless you’re doing historical fiction, it just seems like you wouldn’t have the reference points to craft believable modern-day characters.

    • Jamie says:

      I completely agree. Especially since so much of the population does utilize this form of connection/interaction, it seems like it would make her work feel dated.

  21. Valerie says:

    She should watch The Sopranos, haha.

    IA that this is mostly a privilege thing. Stevie Nicks is the same way. She only got a little flip phone after the Malibu fires when she realized she needed it for safety. But she is surrounded by people all the time, If you live alone or have limited outside connections, it’s safer to have a few connections to the outside world. I sometimes wonder how I did without it because it makes me feel so much safer with one. This is likely true for the average person.

    I don’t know what she’s like as a writer, but I think this approach probably hurts her writing, too.

  22. Mina_Esq says:

    I really don’t understand people that think that it’s charming to be completely disconnected from modern technology. I get not wasting time on socials, but why would one shun the convenience of a smartphone? Even my 84 year old grandma owns an iPhone so that she can FaceTime with her children and grandchildren all across the world. We live in 21st century. This is unnecessary, especially if you’re a business owner. But whatever. You do you, lady.

  23. DeeSea says:

    This whole thing is vaguely off-putting, but I can’t argue with methods that produced one of my top-3 books (State of Wonder) and one of my top-20 books (Bel Canto). I swear, reading State of Wonder altered my DNA.

  24. MaryBeary says:

    State of Wonder is one of my favorite books of all time. The plot was so creative and unusual. I also enjoyed Bel Canto. Haven’t tried The Dutch House. Must investigate.
    She’s a woman of incredible privilege so whatever Ann. Writers can be kind of quirky and superstitious so who knows what her process is. She is an amazing writer.

  25. Regina Falangie says:

    I’m not on social media. It’s great!! I highly recommend it!!

  26. Amelie says:

    I’ve read State of Wonder and Bel Canto by her which are probably two of her most famous books. I really enjoyed both of them. I also read Commonwealth but that one really didn’t stick with me, I couldn’t even tell you what it was about. I enjoy her writing a lot and have been meaning to read her latest book The Dutch House.

    However I don’t believe this whole “I don’t own a cell phone thing.” She 100% owns a computer at least. She might not watch TV or be on social media but she has watched TV at some point in her life, since she is aware of The Sopranos and what not. I’m all for people disconnecting from technology and reading their books, but please do not condescend and pretend like you don’t use any modern technology. It really does sound like a white older privileged woman thing.

  27. Hillbo Baggins says:

    I thought her name was familiar; I just finished The Dutch House and hated every minute of it. It wasn’t bad enough for me to stop reading (it takes a lot for me to quit a book) but I complained the whole time through. There wasn’t a real plot. I couldn’t tell you what it was about other than a couple of whiney kids trapped in adolescence. And when the BIG THING happened, even that was boring and didn’t add anything to the story. The only good thing I can say was that I liked the writing style. Now that I know more about the author it certainly all makes sense.

  28. Annabel says:

    So I work in the book world, and I think Ann Patchett is an amazing person. She’s not my absolute favorite author, but for decades now, she has done more than anyone else I know to boost the careers of much less famous authors. She blurbs books by debut writers. She opened a bookstore because her city had no independent bookstores and she had a problem with that, so now she employs a lot of people at her bookstore in Nashville. She’s just this indefatigable force for good in American literature.

    • Jamie says:

      I’ve never read any of her work before, but I’m incredibly curious now. She sounds like a lovely person!

    • Cava24 says:

      I am glad you posted this- I don’t always love her fiction but her essays are amazing and even more than that, she has given so many up and coming writers and other independent booksellers a boost, that is actually the first thing that usually comes to mind when I hear about her. I think she has probably told her publisher that she’s not interested in doing social media posts herself but they can do some if they want and the small bookstores that host her on book tours can do some etc- she can live with sales as they are. Her books sell, the demographic for her readership may mean that social media isn’t as important. Clearly her assistant may be fielding more stuff for her than most but she may also give them and whoever manages Parnassus a lot of leeway in making decisions. I have the impression from reading her essays about writing that she does careful prep to kind of stay in a particular mental zone for writing, and she is a very big reader herself so she probably prioritizes things in service to that.

  29. Debdowner says:

    I couldn’t get rid of technology in my everyday life, but I don’t want to read a book about someone checking Twitter either. I guess that’s why I read historical fiction.

    • lucy2 says:

      I’ve found that if a book is set in present times and really mentions stuff like twitter, viral videos, celebrities in their 15 minutes of fame, etc, it takes me out of it. Some do it well (Such a Fun Age comes to mind) but others, I read it and think “this is going to feel so dated in a few years”, and you can tell when an author is trying too hard to sound of the moment.

    • Anne Call says:

      I’ve noticed that cell phones present a problem in modern day mysteries. When the hero is cornered they usually make sure their cell phone has either died or there’s no signal, so they can’t just call for help. It’s kind of funny.

  30. SarahCS says:

    Practical question – what does she mean by ‘evening wear’.

    Part of my brain jumps to back in the day when people would dress for dinner in fancy frocks and the other half is saying jammies.

    My evening wear is definitely the latter, maybe I should mix it up.

  31. Case says:

    I never understand why people take so much pride in not owning a TV – television shows are an art form, a place for expression and connection. They’re not lesser than books or films or music. I’m personally more of a movie watcher than a TV person and even I realize we are in a golden age of television. It’s good to limit your intake obviously, but to not watch any television is truly missing out on an important part of culture, IMO.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think it’s a holdover from before the golden age, like how some actors refused to do TV, and a lot of people say it to present themselves a certain way. I worked with a guy like that for a while, he always insisted “I don’t watch TV” but then would talk about a Netflix show or something, LOL.
      There is some brilliant, high quality, and thought provoking work on TV and streaming these days, and a lot more opportunities for women, especially older women, than the film industry seems to have.

  32. Rachel says:

    Point of clarification: she didn’t say that she doesn’t use the internet, she said she doesn’t have a phone or use social media. She definitely uses email, and while she has a nice life, I don’t think it’s as fancy as some commenters are assuming. She wrote an extraordinary essay last month about helping a friend through cancer, in which she gave us a lot of insight into her daily life and set up. It’s really long, but so moving! I loved her writing, and so read Bel Canto after this essay, and was blown away. I have The Dutch House checked out now!

    https://harpers.org/archive/2021/01/these-precious-days-ann-patchett-psilocybin-tom-hanks-sooki-raphael/

  33. Andrea says:

    I really enjoyed the Dutch House from beginning to end. Planning on reading Bel Canto next.

  34. Gah says:

    Other than my grandparents who have 96 excuses not to have a cell phone, the only people I know who are aggressively off the cell phone grid are also narcissists.

  35. Anna says:

    She sounds so smug and pleased with herself. Rolling eyes so hard it hurts.

  36. Lissdogmom02 says:

    I lived like this in childhood. Well we had one giant wooden framed tv that got 2 channels if we were lucky, I think there were 4 or 5 at the time/late 70’s-80’s. I grew up in the sticks cable tv reached there within the last 10 years, seriously. That coupled with the fact we kids almost never got to decide what we watched or got to hardly watch so it wasn’t an all present. I used to adore our trips to the library for more books. We had a summer reading program and I got credit in school for it, I was a bit nerdy, very bookish. I’m still a lover of books, but I also like documentaries and some other tv & basketball of course. I
    I work at home which I love & do all sorts of shopping & what not on the internet. I need my smart phone to get into my work computer. I’m also really happy it’s not attached to a cord that I can wipe everything out with as I try to find privacy, ahh childhood. Cell phones are handy I don’t understand the logic. I do try to set limits for myself although pre-plague that was easier. It takes all kinds I suppose, it’s interesting what people view as must have & or do in their lives versus others. However from a business standpoint I think it’s foolish not to have control/see what you are putting online and also advertise that way. It’s a strange business model/strategy.

  37. Bibi says:

    Quite s few commenters seem upset with someone who’s just living HER life the way she CHOSE. And isn’t that what we all aspire to? Anyway, she looks unbothered and happy and I say good for her.

  38. WhyNot says:

    The problem is she seems disingenuous. Like in her Harper’s essay about working with Tom Hanks. She claimed she received a package from him but threw it on a pile in her office until opening it much later because she doesn’t believe actors can write. Sure, Jan. Then she wrote a glowing cover blurb so got to do a Q&A with hiim. Just before they went onstage she tells him she’s prepared no questions – really? Even he mocks her for this as soon as they are seated onstage, saying, “She doesn’t have any questions!” After the show she’s disappointed not to be invited by Tom for drinks with his assistant. She then cultivates an email relationship with the assistant and persuades her to live in her home while undergoing chemo, all while not mentioning the celebrity elephant in the room until she can’t help herself and asks the assistant if Tom knows where she is. The assistant is horrified because presumably she senses when people are using her to get to Tom. The whole thing is the most elaborate starf*ck I’ve seen, couched as her befriending a cancer patient.

  39. diamond rottweiler says:

    In the writer world, there’s always a big competition to see who can seem the least tech and SM literate. Big weird badge of honor. Also, writer parents who supposedly only let their children read Proust (in the original French, of course) and who’ve never allowed them to eat anything that wasn’t grown and blessed by Tibetan monks. The number of writers in interview who say “I don’t own a TV” when I’ve *seen* their TVs is more than a couple. Lol. It’s pretty eye rolly, honestly (though I’ve liked Ann the couple times I’ve met her).

  40. Ms. Lib says:

    I loved this book and ALL of her books!