There was a book party tonight for William McPherson, a DC and literary legend who is also a dear friend. The New York Review of Books has republished his novel, Testing The Current, and his fans and friends (who are also fans) crowded the Massachusetts Avenue apartment of Myra McPherson to celebrate. Myra and Bill are not related, except as veterans of the hey day of The Washington Post. Bill won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1977, when he was editor of the Post's Book World.
Bill and I met through our mutual friend Aubrey Sarvis. Back when I owned Nathans, and after it closed when I was writing my book, Aubrey, Bill and I had regular wonderful Friday lunches at La Chaumiere in Georgetown and sometimes Cafe Milano. We'd drink wine and gossip like mad. Sadly, with being back at work and all, Aubrey getting "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" repealed, our lunches have become fewer. But the spirit is there.
When I was writing "Innocent Spouse," and on something like the 2nd or 3rd draft -- and deeply in the weeds -- Bill helped me hack through what I should keep and what I could cut. His input helped provide clarity for me, the little lost writer. It also gave us an excuse for more lunches. He has a gift and his name instantly lights up writers and anyone who knows about writing.