Why did I love this book?
My favorite novelist. Laureate of Broken People. Criminally underappreciated. In 1987, 15 years before I was lucky enough to be published, I wrote to Yates after I got his address from his daughter Monica, who was dating my fellow stand-up comic friend, some unknown guy named Larry David. In the letter, I revealed that I had just stolen his out-of-print 1969 novel about a post-WWII mother and homecoming son from the NYC Public Library and that it would always be my favorite book of his because it was the only one I had not yet read. He wrote back that it was his favorite work as well, then added, “I admire comics because it is much easier to break people’s hearts than to make them laugh.” (Spoiler alert: Larry David turns out okay…)