even the beautiful can write...and struggle with it

Was everyone obliged to write a novel? Could I write a novel? Did I want to write a novel? What the hell was a novel, anyway, when you came right down to it? A really, really, really long short story? I hoped so, because that was the only thing I knew for certain that I could manage, sort of, to write.

a handsome, pulitzer-winning writer wrote this in an introspective, honest, self-indulgent essay for the NYRB. click on the title to find out who, what, where, when and why.