Really, this post could just be called “the day that dill, red onions, and vinegar took over Yummy Books,” because today we’re cooking for Boris. My feelings for Boris are among the most complicated I’ve ever had for any literary character, which is probably why it’s taken me so long to talk about him in this series. For ninety-percent of the novel, I was filled with gut-wrenching dread every time Boris showed up on the page. There were actually moments when I considered putting the book down completely because I was so overwhelmed by how much I disliked him. On one such occasion, I called my mom (who was reading the book at the same time) and told her that I didn’t think I could keep reading if Boris was going to stick around. She was flummoxed. Boris, it turned out, was her favorite character in the novel, and maybe one of her favorite literary characters ever.
On Monday, after months and months of work and a million sleepless nights, I finally passed in the first draft of Voracious to Little, Brown—all 240 pages of it. At first, I felt giddy, elated, free! A few hours later, though, I was completely lost. I had no idea what to do with my day. There was nothing looming over my head, no need to lock myself in my tiny office and put clean x’s next to my myriad checklists. I went out to drink a beer with my friends and, after months of solitary confinement, felt completely overwhelmed by the number of people around me—all that noise! Eye contact is weird! What do people talk about, anyway! I scurried back to my kitchen with comfort food on my mind.