Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Divorced His Wife, Married His Nurse....? Nope. Wasn't Willing to Pay the Price

Last year a friend had a seizure that resulted in the discovery of a benign brain tumor -- and emergency surgery. He woke up paralyzed on his right side and unable to speak.

He worked through it. Now he's back. He described the ordeal in a piece that ran in the New York Times Sunday Magazine to which I will not link because it's behind the Times subscription wall.

Why tantalize?

I am ashamed to say I didn't talk with him during his recovery. It was not clear to me from second-hand reports that he was recovering, and I was not sure how I would manage the conversation if he clearly was still in difficulty. He is 3,000 miles away, and there was nothing practical we could do to help as far as I could figure out. I'd left some phone messages with his family, but no one had responded.

Anyway now that I know he's okay, I wrote to praise his article and -- as one does almost reflexively with writers -- said at least he'd get a book out of it.

He said no he wouldn't. He said his agent told him that he had not had that bad a time, and that the difficult-recovery-from-brain-surgery niche is "very competitive."

He said it was a comfort to know that his illness and recovery were nothing special, at least in the eyes of the publishing industry.

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