An editor who “understands the roulette table is more important than the work”
It’s great working with him. He goes over things and goes over things and goes over things. Our relationship is mostly around gambling though. We lost $4,000 at the roulette table back in the spring at the dog track in Charleston. There aren’t many people you can lose $4,000 with. We started with $300 and hit a lucky streak and then watched it all disappear. But it was fine. Sometimes it purifies your spirit to lose $4,000 between people in an hour.
The reason Gian is the best editor around is he understands the roulette table is more important than the work. He was always able to bring something fresh and just completely sweet and wonderful because he’ll bet it all on #10. That’s who he is. We need more editors like that.
We went back and forth about the ending [of McClanahan’s novel Hill WIlliam] though. Another thing I love about him is if you believe in something enough, he’ll throw his hands up and say okay. I think he picks books because of the people he loves, not because of the words, and that’s why he’s a great man. He believes in people.
An editor and writer who find each other is a sweet thing.
Something else you learn by searching these two out, by the way, is that McClanahan once called George Saunders’s hair “a dick.” (Saunders didn’t take it well.)