I was drinking coffee with a friend in Los Angeles, in an adorable cafe that also happened to sell books. On a whim, I decided to see if they had any of mine.
I made my way to the w’s, and there it was—my first novel—on the shelf. I felt happiness followed immediately by anxiety. Why had nobody purchased it?
I opened the book and realized it was a used copy. There was the inscription: “For Sarah—I hope you enjoy my twisted little book!” Followed by my signature and the date.
I went through a mental Rolodex, trying to figure out who Sarah might have been. I knew many Sarahs—it must have been one of the most popular girl’s names in the early seventies. I pictured first the writer Sarahs, several of whom I respected greatly as my peers or my same-age betters. I tried to remember whose names ended with an h and whose didn’t.
I wanted to impress these Sarahs. I wanted them to find my work as valuable as I had found theirs. It pained me to imagine one of them deaccessioning an inscribed copy of my first novel. Read More