A friend of mine came to New York to interview for a fellowship. I hadn’t seen her in 6 years. After she left just now, I was left with the clearest of impressions: A person is not a block of wood but an organism that grows, flourishes, or wilts. Literature is vital for understanding the unfolding of lives over time and for detecting in some their hard-won, uncanny successes. Count no man happy until he has died. Indeed, Solon.