Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Eliot Spitzer and the Science of Forgetting

I'm at the beach writing this week, but I'm due for a post and a blog post is writing, too, right?

The April 27, 2009 issue of Newsweek had a cover story on Eliot Spitzer called "The Confessions of Eliot Spitzer" and right above his picture on the cover, it says "How Could I?" The story is basically "A Year Later" type of piece.

I'm always interested in the stories about Spitzer and others like him, because they highlight the same question I tried to explore in my novel, TELL NO LIES: Why does a guy who "has everything" do something to screw it all up? What motivates him? The answers are different for everyone, of course, including for Jack, my main character, but I think there are certain traits they share in addition to the specific motivations they might have. There's a great sentence in Jon Meacham's "The Editor's Desk" piece at the front of the issue: "The route between political ambition and sexual hunger is among the shortest in human experience." It's also one of the most fascinating, I think, which is why authors write books about it and news magazines print cover stories about it, over and over again.

Interestingly enough, that same issue of Newsweek had a health article about "the science of forgetting." Why do I say "interestingly enough"? My second novel (tentatively titled HOW TO SAVE A LIFE), which will be out early next year, has a major plot line that relates to deleting traumatic memories from the brain. I don't want to say more lest I give too much away, but I'm starting to feel like someone at Newsweek is looking over my shoulder as I write . . .