George Saunders

Max Apple: A sweet, never tart writers' writer

Max Apple: A sweet, never tart writers' writer

Quick: find the closest novelist and ask him to name his favorite writers' writer. I'd bet a sizable number of American dollars that you'll hear one of these names: Richard Yates, John Cheever, Grace Paley, Andre Dubus (the Elder). Maybe Barry Hannah thrown in there for a little Southern flavor. The recently departed James Salter, of course. There is a name you will not hear, though, unless through a very unlikely coincidence I happen to be the novelist closest to you: Max Apple. Max Who? you ask, to which I respond: Exactly. Because if succinctness and accuracy are given equal weight, the definition of a writers' writer could be "the best writer you've...