Rose Martelli and Alexandra Jacobs
November 22, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Authors are a temperamental lot, given to sudden outbursts of rage, jealousy, that sort of thing. Still, somehow we worked up the courage to ask some of them, ”What was the last book you flung across the room?”

”James Patterson’s Kiss the Girls, but not necessarily in and of itself. It came out right at the time of the movie Copycat and a Patricia Cornwell novel that were both about cutting up female body parts. There were 20 novels in a row that featured horrendous violence against women without any of the wit and art of a Silence of the Lambs.”
Susan Isaacs, author of Lily White

The Bridges of Madison County. It’s the end of the world as we know it. It’s the big lie. It’s everything bad in literature and in life.”
Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean

”I never throw them across the room. I’m a writer; I just put them down.”
John Gregory Dunne, coauthor of the screenplay for Up Close & Personal and author of the forthcoming Monster: Living Off the Big Screen

”Actually, as an Olympic-level book flinger, it’s hard to choose among the rubble of print that my cat has had to dodge over the past months … I’d rather not bring any notoriety to the books that I genuinely hoped to fling into oblivion forever, so I’ll just mention my two-volume QuarkXPress manual.”
Art Spiegelman, author of Maus

”I know that I flung a book across a room to kill a cockroach. Unfortunately, I think it was my own.”
Jennifer Belle, author of Going Down (movie rights recently bought by Madonna)

Citizen K, by Mark Singer. I threw it across the room because I hated the fact that he was such a better journalist than I am.”
Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson

”To keep in touch with the zeitgeist, I have a pile of books beside my reading chair. I got to The Rules, picked it up, but only got to Rule No. 3 before I threw the book into the fireplace (yes, there was a fire). I thought this stuff went out with Dear Abby’s advice in the ’50s — you know, the ‘get him to talk about himself and act as if you share his interests’ kind of thing. Spare me.”
Olivia Goldsmith, author of The First Wives Club and Marrying Mom

”That’s not something we do.”
Sherrie Schneider, coauthor of The Rules

You May Like