From Interns, Big Things May Come

Angela Evancie reviews Andrew Shaffer’s Literary Rogues, which covers the mundane internships, grunt jobs and general kicking around that preceded the rise of literary giants:

[W]hat is most remarkable about Shaffer’s history is the way in which it colors that liminal space between writers’ obscurity and their eventual fame – not just with tales of weeklong benders, but also with portraits of sacrifice and stubbornness. Literary Rogues is far from a how-to, but it’s strangely reassuring: Success isn’t always instantaneous, and the antics don’t really have anything to do with it. After all, Hemingway wasn’t famous because he drank – he was famous because he wrote.

Related Dish thread on “achievement anxiety” here.