A Number of Reasons I’ve Been Depressed Lately


Best of 2017

We’re away until January 3, but we’re reposting some of our favorite pieces from 2017. Enjoy your holiday!


One. It’s early September of 2015 and I’m on the island of Santorini for a literary festival. After the short reading, which takes place outdoors on a patio, the Greek audience asks questions, the first of which is, “What do you think of Donald Trump?”

Since announcing his candidacy, the reality-show star has been all over the news. Every outrageous thing he says is repeated and analyzed—like he’s a real politician. I answer that I first became aware of Donald Trump in the late 1980s. That was when Alma, a Lithuanian woman I was working for, bought his book The Art of the Deal and decided he was wonderful. Shortly afterward, I saw him on Oprah, and ever since then he’s always been in the background, this ridiculous blowhard, part showman and part cartoon character. I see his presidential bid as just another commercial for himself. It wouldn’t surprise me if he were to name the Hamburglar as his running mate. So I say that on stage and then have to explain who the Hamburglar is.