I never thought I’d contribute to the vast canon of writers-on-writing essays, but here is one, called ‘There is No Handbook for This’ that I wrote about second-career writers (like me) for The Millions.
At eighteen, I was aware that such a woman existed. I had seen pictures, hair loose and swingy or clipped in a hasty chignon. And the shoes—strappy slides, with a heel. But I met her in the flesh one July afternoon at her hillside villa in Nice. She was a Persian beauty in her 40’s named Shirin, and in the summer of 1979 she was my hostess on the Cote d’Azur.