The worst moment in a writer’s life is the day he receives his first rejection slip. The second worst is the day his first book is published.
The former because it only takes one person—one person—to prevent what would have been a remarkable and brilliant early debut. One person, whom the writer is sure was a summer intern from Barnard with a fondness for capri pants and a smug conviction in her ability to assess genius, to deep-six his career. One skinny, privileged-enough-to-survive-being underpaid assistant, who now most likely was a spinning instructor with an eating disorder, to reject him.
And the latter because he was rejected by the entire world.
I didn’t learn about this joyous part deux until recently. My first book, The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast, was published on August 18th. That morning, I woke up feeling sure that it was truly the first day of the rest of my life. All I had to do wait it out. Within hours, the phone would ring, my web site’s server would crash from the assault of emails, and the offers for my own TV show would roll in. more »