Two different articles on the Internet have reminded me of the humanity of writers. (I should say: other writers. I am aware of my own humanity each time I look at myself in the mirror.)

Kurt Vonnegut, whose books and whose passion for social justice I admire, wrote: “We are what we pretend to be.” He added: “I myself am a work of fiction.” The Charles Shields biography of Vonnegut, And So It Goes, also claims he was unfaithful (now, that’s shocking!), sometimes cruel and unpredictable, and invested in Dow Chemical.

Louisa May Alcott called Little Women “moral pap for the young,” adding that she wrote it for the specific purpose of making lots and lots of money. “Money is the means and the ends of my mercenary existence,” she said — getting rich was the driving force for writing about women who didn’t care about getting rich.

J.R.R. Tolkien hated his hippie fans, and was a devout Catholic. (From http://www.cracked.com/article_20530_6-famous-authors-who-were-nothing-like-you-expect.html )

Arthur Miller and Kurt Vonnegut were not great daddies to their children. (This theme is rather more frequent among writers.)

Well, nobody is perfect. All I can say is this: consider every book as a thing in itself. If it is a beautiful thing, then it deserves our attention regardless of who the author is, and what his/her failings are. Indeed, I am deeply suspicious of any author who is not immensely flawed as a human being . . . as I am, or at least one-third as flawed as I am. I consider myself to be merely as a conductor, as a transmitter, an instrument, of inspiration that was given to me. Knowing what I have been through, I appreciate the hard work and the difficult journey that writers often take to become who they are and write the books they do.