ON HIS FIRST (OF MANY) BAE SELECTIONS:
"...I handed the volume to my lovely bride, who exclaimed and exulted in deeply satisfying fashion, and hugged me and kissed me, and she was really and truly delighted, she is a most genuine and emotionally open soul, and then, as we sipped our excellent wine, she pawed through the book too, and finally flipped it over and read down the list of contributors, in alphabetical order, and then she said, unforgettably, this:
“'Wow – Saul Bellow, Joseph Epstein, Ian Frazier, Edward Hoagland, Jamaica Kincaid, William Maxwell, John McPhee, Mary Oliver, Oliver Sacks, John Updike….Brian Doyle? Doesn’t that sound funny? Bellow, Updike, Doyle?'
That’s what I remember best, her absolute honest innocent question, and my instant urge to shout 'NO THAT DOES NOT SOUND FUNNY! THAT SOUNDS TOTALLY COOL AND RIGHT AND AWESOME AND I AM A GOLDEN ESSAY GOD!'"