The Good Life  
Jay McInerney
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On fiction as disguised autobiography, being a "literary transvestite" and how Jay felt about a certain Sunday Styles piece in The New York Times.

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Hi, it's Jay here again, I'm just back here in New York again from Boston. It's kind of my homeland in a sense, my parents are both from Boston, but until recently I've had mixed feelings about it. As an adopted New Yorker I obviously had to choose between Boston and New York, and certainly had to choose between the Red Sox and the Yankees. But it was great to be there, actually, and sort of my liveliest and smartest audience yet. So, go Boston! I was at the Brookline Booksmith, it was packed, it was a great audience and they were hanging from the rafters. They were rowdy and enthusiastic, I think the questions could have gone on for an hour, although we stopped after half and hour.

Some good questions, I'm trying to think, I remember someone asked me what it was like writing from a woman's point of view, vis a vis Corrine, the protagonist of The Good Life. I actually think it's more fun than writing from a man's point of view, in fact if fiction is anything other than disguised autobiography (see James Frey, Oprah, etc.) then I think it represents the projection of oneself in an imaginative fashion into the shoes of other human beings and consciousness'...that's the ultimate challenge fiction as opposed to nonfiction. For some reason I've always liked writing from the point of view of women. Maybe I'm a sort of literary transvestite. My third novel, Story of My Life, is told entirely from the point of view of a twenty-year-old party girl, Alison Poole.

The other question that was kind of interesting that everybody was hanging on was how I felt about the profile in the Style section of The New York Times this Sunday, which I kind of liked and was kind of freaked out by. The picture was so big it almost scared me. I wish the article had concentrated a little more on the book and a little less on my love life, but for anybody who wants to read about my love life over the past ten years, hey, check out the Style section of the Times, last Sunday, two days ago. And if by any chance you're in Miami, look for me there. Coral Gables actually, at Books and Books. Stay tuned for another installment of my tour diary.

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