Holden Caulfield had it right. The test of a great book, he said in “The Catcher in the Rye,” was whether, once you finished it, you wished the author were a great friend you could call up at home. I remembered Caulfield’s insight when we convened a roundtable of writers to come to Newsweek. The conversation was honest, and a persistent theme emerged: that for all the frustrations of writing, the uncertain future of publishing, and the terror of rejection by readers and critics, our authors couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Ever.
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