Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Richard Yates

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.

9 comments:

RobinSlick said...

Oh my god, I love Richard Yates and I knew you had a connection with him but I had no idea it was anything like this! Ellen, what a treasure...and of course, he knew first what we came to know about you.

xo

Stephanie said...

Aw, that's very sweet. :)

katrina said...

Very cool--he's such an incredible writer!

Myfanwy Collins said...

I love Richard Yates and his inscription to you made me get all teary--clearly he knew a quality person when he met one.

xo
myf

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

How fantastic!!!

You must see this as some kind of good writing omen; I would.

Richard said...

I love seeing signed books, thanks for sharing with us!

Justin Crouse said...

that's a really great thing ellen. quite a treasure indeed!!

JC

David Niall Wilson said...

One of the great pleasures of all the years I've spent writing and publishing has been the people I've met that I never expected I would meet - and the number of them who took the time to make the meetings worthwhile.

It sounds like he might have had a small crush on your phone voice, too, Ellne :)

David

K Cutter said...

I just finished re-reading, "Doctor Jack-o-Lantern." Amazing stuff. But may I ask, how exactly does one give Yates praise about his work without sounding like a raving fanatic?