For those of us who ever dreamed of living in New York City, Jay McInerney’s cult sensation “Bright Lights, Big City” fueled and formed our impressions of the city. Particularly the possibility of bumping into our literary heroes and partying with them until the wee hours of the morning. Jay’s latest novel BRIGHT, PRECIOUS DAYS is also set in his beloved city, but his focus has shifted towards the marriage of Russell and Corrine Calloway, the couple we first met in Brightness Falls (1992) and again in The Good Life (2006). Unlike most of their contemporaries, Russell and Corrine are still married, and yet, after all their years of solidarity (not necessarily fidelity), their marriage may finally come unraveled, or will it? Set on cusp of Obama’s historic presidential win, and, amidst the heady days of 2008 before the financial crash, the novel exudes (and makes fun of) the excesses of the period.
Here, Jay talks about his early years as an aspiring writer before “Bright Lights” was published (like the time he first met Raymond Carver and got high), why he’s drawn to winemakers, and why he’s been writing about the same couple for 25 years.