I was once at a party where I met a famous writer. I told him I had learned that novelists could rent apartments at the American Academy of Arts in Rome for a low price. I offered this bit of information almost as a gift, thinking that the famous writer might want to take advantage of it. This writer liked me. He laughed affectionately and said, “Oh Akhil, there are so many things you get when you are famous.”
With my first book, I had noticed that my book had gotten one page in my publisher’s book catalogue and that a friend of mine who was publishing at the same time in the same house had gotten two pages. I had known that the publishing house had had a lunch for him to meet the press and not for me.