Extreme Tardiness

26 01 2011

How long can you carry the stone?

An article appeared in the New York Times today about author Barnaby Conrad and his newly published “The Second Life of John Wilkes Booth.” The topic of the book is not important to me; what is amazing is that it took him 60 years to write it. That may seem extreme, especially for Conrad who now feels as though a great weight has lifted, but consider that the man who suggested the idea, Nobel Prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis, told him, “You are never going to be a writer unless you write that book.” What a gauntlet! What a long time to wait for validation in a craft where pros must swim an infinite sea of harsh criticism. Such weight would sink less serious writers by the dozens. Yet, after writing over 30 books, and living a rich life that included a stint as a bullfighter, Conrad doesn’t have much left to prove. But I would bet he’s glad he doesn’t have to carry that one into the next life.

Click here to read the original NY Times article.