For me, the best part was being able to have a foot in the literary world while also maintaining my maternal responsibilities, something not always easy to do. I had taken my son as a two-week-old to a job interview, and my daughter had sat and colored during my class, but this was total immersion.
"My favorite review ever . . . said: 'This book would have been better if it was longer and more interesting.' I tried to get them to put that on the back of Dept. in the 'Previous praise for Jenny Offill' section, but wiser heads prevailed."
At the kitchen sink, Mary Morris is washing the bowl she used for lunch: salad with sliced carrots and radishes and tomatoes from the garden, button mushrooms and stale sunflower seeds from the cheap grocery, some watercress she picked from around the well, all covered a little too thickly in ranch dressing.