Reading for company

From "Lorrie Moore is not inside your head" (a point on which I, like many, beg to differ; she and Nora Ephron are my Joan Didion[s]):

You have to be willing to have only a few friends, Lorrie Moore said. Writers, if they are honest with themselves, cannot worry about offending or how many allies they have acquired in this world. It's an obnoxious position, hard to defend. But they do not work for the Chamber of Commerce; they are not examples to the community. They are there for their story, and if it sounds harsh...

Well, maybe.

She said this nicely.

We got on the subject because I mentioned she is one of those writers from whom readers take cues on how to live, and how not to.

"I hope not," she said.

Then she considered the point a moment -- a point that John Cheever and Raymond Carver and Alice Munro and the other short story masters she is routinely lumped in with have all heard -- and she said, somewhat coyly, "I always thought people read for company."

— Christopher Borelli