I myself am consummately middle class. We grew up in upper-middle-class suburbs in Oklahoma City, and thats very much the same ethos as what Richard Yates and John Cheever wrote about.

— Blake Bailey

The most jaw-dropping Blake Bailey quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

A damnably readable, streamlined, yet deeply researched work.

Skipping the ancestors and aftermath of conventional biography, Max gives us the man, his work, and his times-the niceties of which (so complicated, so exquisitely intertwined) Max articulates with, well, Wallace-like lucidity and wit. Above all this is the story of a touching young man who insisted on being something better than simply the smartest person in the room.


I'm not an academic; I'm just a bookish Joe who gets passionate about certain writers and suddenly wants to read everything they've ever written and find out why they wrote it.


My father was a golden boy from a very small town.

He won a very prestigious law scholarship to NYU Law School, and there in Greenwich Village, he met my mother, who was very young, fresh off the boat from Germany.