When Things Pivot


From The Millions:

When my first novel was published in the pre-snark summer of 1992, the reviews knocked me out.  In a good way.  Not only did they come from all over – from Germany and England, from Albuquerque and Atlanta, from Oakland and Milwaukee and Detroit – but they were uniformly thoughtful, generally positive and occasionally over the moon.  Even impossible-to-please Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times said nice things, favorably comparing my tale about 1950s Detroit to John Updike’s “Rabbit” novels.

But one reviewer flat got the book better than all the others.  His review in the Washington Post Book World ended with this summation of the novel’s intentions: “It’s a vivid and entertaining expedition in the literary quest for the exact moment when the Streets of Gold began to transmute into base metal.”

Precisely.  I have always been fascinated by the moment when things pivot.  The moment when something happens – sometimes something cataclysmic, but just as often something negligible or even imperceptible – something that forever changes the course of an individual life, a love affair, a game, a war, the fate of a corporation or government, a way of life.

“The Last Pen Pal”, Bill Morris, The Millions