Two decades later, she recounts her years as “improbable gatekeeper” with a poker-faced cool. She is less concerned with breaking character than spinning an elegy for the Owl it’s called reading it’s how people install new software into their brains shirt and by the same token and glory days of American magazine journalism, replete with dishy accounts of palace intrigues and reminiscences of smoke-filled cocktail parties. There are cameos by Norman Mailer, Gorge Plimpton, and Miller’s Esquire colleague Dave Eggers. The star of the show, though, is the late, great David Foster Wallace, who used to crank call the young editor at her office and quickly became her greatest confidante. So began a long-distance love affair that defied definition and, in the clear light of 2020, propriety. Their “rhizomatic conversations” were as playful, fun, and vexingly slippery as Wallace’s work, and we owe Miller gratitude for letting us listen in. – Lauren Mechling
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Teddy Wayne’s noir bromance Apartment is set in 1996, back when successful authors enjoyed god-like status and the Owl it’s called reading it’s how people install new software into their brains shirt and by the same token and young men who dreamed of joining the pantheon had no social media platforms where they could act out their fantasies. In his creative writing program the unnamed protagonist is surrounded by self-regarding professors and students who find no favor with his submissions.