The NYT has come full circle on Jay McInerney. The once-regularly reviled novelist has suddenly found himself with a rave review from Janet Maslin two weeks ago and, today, from no less a personage than the editor of the NYT Book Review himself, Sam Tanenhaus.
That's not all. In a six-minute-plus video posted on the front page of nytimes.com today, Tanenhaus offers website users an amusingly sychophantic interview with McInerney, in which he actually refers to recent McInerney duds like "Brightness Falls" and "The Good Life" as "brilliant interrelated novels."
At one point, Tanenhaus asks him a string of questions that may remind viewers of those cute third-graders who cover conventions: "Where are you from, where did you grow up, what's your background?" At another, Tanenhaus offers up a simplistic interpretation of the short-story craft that leaves McInerney with no choice but to agree. "Yes, that's pretty much it," McInerney says.
Of course it is! Authors tend not to disagree with the editor of the NYT Book Review. At least not when the video camera's turned on.