Congratulations! Pushcart was that Russian author, no? I bet they chose that story you basically copied from Chekhov. You always did have the best influences. My problem is that I’m too original for my own damn good. I like to believe that writing should be its own reward but I’m glad that one of us has learned how to play the game. Some of us aren’t as fortunate: the only prize they gave Solzhenitsyn was thirty years in the gulag. And don’t forget what Dostoevsky said about prizes. But, still, your first shot at the Pushcart. That puts you one ahead of Nabokov. Really. I just looked it up. You’re in some impressive company. Then again, think of how the Nobel committee snubbed Tolstoy. In the end, it comes down to what you most want out of life. I’m sure I would get nominated all the time if that was what I really cared about. I would just find one of those editors who nominates everyone. Like you did. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, you didn’t sleep with him. Did you? In any event, I’m sure the two of you are fast friends by now. And I was wondering if you could possibly put in a good word for me so that next time, when I send out my new piece — you know, the one based on The Master and Margarita — maybe I could get nominated too.