Three or four million years ago, almost fresh out of college, I had a short-lived job as assistant to a literary agent. One of the perks of the job was that I was allowed to borrow any of the books from my boss's shelves. It was there that I discovered my first Richard Yates book, "Easter Parade," and I about lost my mind. This guy was simply the greatest writer in the universe, no question about it.
So ... can you imagine how a 23-year-old Ellen gushed the first time she picked up the phone for her boss and heard that the caller was Richard Yates? I'm sure I came across like a blathering idiot, but he was quite gracious.
We developed a little phone friendship over the months I was there, and he eventually sent me an autographed copy of "Liars in Love." The book has been lost in the bowels of my basement for the past nine years, and I'm happy to announce that I just found it. Of course, I'm delighted to share it with you.