Sometimes I am so out of it, I shock myself.
Alice Sebold taught fiction writing at Hunter college in the early 90s, but I didn’t realize until last night that Alice is now the bestselling author of The Lovely Bones and Lucky. She was one of my favorite teachers.
The last time I spoke with Alice she was leaving NYC to be the resident writer at some sort of writing retreat in California. She said she had just discovered she would be getting less than $500 a month in salary and wanted to know what I thought. I said, “It could be worse.” I am so glad I didn’t say something caustic. From her Wikipedia entry, it looks like she went from the retreat to University of California: Irvine and the rest is–as they say–history.
I have no excuse for why I lost track of Alice until last night. For the past two years I have read primarily memoir and have even fingered the spine of her memoir, Lucky, in the book store. Somehow I just didn’t put it together. I am very happy. Success couldn’t have happened to a more deserving writer than Alice Sebold. I am also going to include her name prominently on all my future submissions: Tim Elhajj studied with Alice Sebold.