Prosperous Friends by Christine Schutt

The house faltered. "I thought," Isabel said, and she steadied herself on the desk edge and wondered that the time Ned had spent in this wide room with all its light should yield up the parts he had read her, indulgences, lugubrious and trite—except that Carol Bane had approved. In consideration of events in the world the only noble calling was to report on them. Where were the orphans in Ned's work but he was sitting under an umbrella table with a silly woman feeding table scraps to dogs? What did a person say to such audacity as Ned's? To write a memoir didn't a person have to suffer a little?