Adler is 74. She is one of the most brilliant – that is, vivid, intense, astute, and penetrating – essayists in contemporary letters, and most contrarian: much of what you think she will passionately undo. And she is a novelist whose voice, even decades after her books were written, seems new and original, and, if you are a writer, one you wish were your own.
But when you wrote that sentence about Judge Sirica originally, didn’t it occur to you that without a little more backing it was inflammatory?
Well, the truth is, if I had it to do again, I would amplify, but only by another sentence or two.
So do you regret now that it wasn’t amplified?
No, I don’t know if it would have mattered at all. I mean, the Times ran four pieces about me even before Sirica. I don’t think I did an injustice, I don’t think it was wrong to leave it that way — I was not doing a reporting piece, I was writing a memoir of what happened at the New Yorker.
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