Alexie: My mullet said to the literary world, “Hello, you privileged prep-school assholes, I’m here to steal your thunder, lightning, and book sales.”
Walter: To my shame now, I grew up embarrassed about being blue-collar, a first-generation college student, a nineteen-year-old father. We usually think of passing in terms of race, but people try to pass as another class, too. I did that.
The occasion is an anniversary, so the point is reminiscing. But the whole thing (it’s not too long) begs for a follow-up about what’s happened since: success, praise, how to attend New Yorker parties and become an esteemed denizen of the literary world without losing where you’re from.
Read the whole conversation (and see the mullet photo) here.
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