There’s a nice story in The Guardian about Michael Holroyd, who has just won a big prize for biography. He says “He will spend much of his winnings ‘buying myself time to write. That's what I need at the moment, time.’” If he, with all of his successes, needs time, where does that leave the rest of us plebians?

Buying time: the big trick of the writer’s life. This week is spring break. The papers are not yet graded, my entries here have been massively long, and, still, writing my book proceeds glacially. But, I’ve read most of Sula today and will finish it now. Strange to come so late to a great book: one wants to say, “Toni Morrison’s really good. Boy! That Sula sure is a novel. Mm-hmm.” But to whom?