Editor’s note: The following essay (previously unpublished) was written in 1951 by Betty MacDonald, bestselling Northwest author of such classics as The Egg and I and the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series. The Estate of Betty MacDonald shared the essay with us for the release of the new biography Looking for Betty MacDonald.
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I have just finished reading a couple of books and an article by writers who apparently dipped their pens in their own tears as they set down the gruesome details of the hard lot of an author, particularly a successful author. Now, God knows, I am aware that fame has its seamy side, and that unfortunately almost every city in the United States contains at least one squinty-eye who will crawl four miles over broken glass just to tell an author that her hair looks ugly or they didn’t t recognize her she had gotten so fat
or they had just burned her horrible book. But I am not going to let it blight my life. I'm going to slap the next person who waits in line for an hour just to tell me that “I knew your book would be published, Betty, because all the good writers are at war,” and I’m going to count my blessings...