Roger L. Simon

Peter Collier's Mistake

I mentioned on here a couple of weeks ago that after decades of making things up – writing novels and screenplays – I was now really going to make things up by writing a non-fiction book. I neglected to mention the publisher that is taking this wild risk. It is Peter Collier whose relatively new house Encounter Books has a growing reputation for serious political works. His list includes some fairly distinguished characters like Victor Davis Hanson, Roger Kimball and Norman Podhoretz. [Does Collier know what he’s getting into?-ed? Shhh…] Podhoretz in particular interests me as a model because he literally “wrote the book” on the genre in which I will be working – the memoir of political transformation. I have just finished his latest, Ex-Friends: Falling Out With Allen Ginsberg, Lionel & Diana Trilling, Lillian Hellman, Hannah Arendt, and Norman Mailer. It’s great, but it makes me nervous. I have a few interesting “ex-friends” too – but nothing like that list.