“I was tremendously apprehensive,” Fountain recalls. “I felt like I’d stepped off a cliff and I didn’t know if the parachute was going to open. Nobody wants to waste their life, and I was doing well at the practice of law. I could have had a good career. And my parents were very proud of me—my dad was so proud of me. . . . It was crazy.”That is Malcolm Galdwell writing about author Ben Fountain, a successful lawyer deciding that he wanted to be a writer instead though he had no real writing experience. The above is from Gladwell's essay on late bloomers.
Aside 1: I read Fountain's book “Brief Encounters with Che Guevara,” when it came out in 2006 and loved the stories. He is such a talented writer, and until I read this essay I had no idea that he had to struggle for so long before he became an 'overnight success.' Read the book.
Aside 2: After reading Gladwell's the essay "John Rock's Error" I was wondering why women weren't emailing it to other women. And everyone who sees the world in black & white, and is angry about what Enron did should read "Open Secrets."
Overall, I am extremely impressed with Gladwell's book "What the Dog Saw." His other books get a lot more press, but this collection of his New Yorker pieces covers such a wide range of topics. He so thoughtfully takes the contrarian view and makes me rethink my many stereotypes. I have no hesitation in labeling the book a 'must-read.'