“[…] I passed a year [ca. 1973] working in one of the more incredibly sophisticated literature-nurturing jobs of all time: as a salesclerk at Macy’s department store.” (p.200)
“As much as I stood outside of it, I saw the literary life as a kind of brotherhood, a noble pursuit in which literature seemed an answer to the tawdrier aspects of existence. In other words, I was naïve, stupid, uninformed, green, and hopelessly idealistic despite the fact that, given the way I had come up, I should have known better.” (p. 260)
Oscar Hijuelos, Thoughts Without Cigarettes: A Memoir, 2011.