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A murder mystery about a group of classicists at a small New England college and a page-turner that makes reference as easily to T. S. Eliot as it does to TV and fast food.
Writers, against all reason (and whatever we pretend), are competitive creatures. And so when Vanity Fair assigned me, in the spring of 1992, to profile the author of that fall's big, hot novel, a first novel that had fetched an advance of close to a million dollars, my initial reaction, as a recent first-novelist myself who had garnered some moderately good reviews and sold a couple of thousand b...