Monday, June 1, 2009

On the Nature of Fans

Margery Flax's description of my fan Beatrice Weinberg as a "nice Jewish grandmother from Queens" got me thinking ....

My first novel, THE SERPENT CLUB, was a book drenched with sex and violence and violent sex. (I've calmed down a bit over the years.) The reaction to the book was eye-opening. A lot of woemn I would have described as grandmotherly or maiden aunt types really liked it. (He has problems, doesn't he?" one such woman said about the protagonist, as if she thought she could help him.) Although those observations surprised me, I was rocked even more by the responses from some of my colleagues in journalism, presumably jaded and cynical types who were appalled at what I had written.

It's ten years since THE SERPENT CLUB, and I'm still not sure what to make of that divergence. Except to note the wisdom of something my parents told me over and over again while I was growing up: Don't make assumptions about people. You have to judge them as individuals.

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