One of her five favorite fictional portraits of idleness and lassitude, as told to the Wall Street Journal:
Tender Is the NightRead about another entry on the list.
by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1934)
We are in the south of France in the mid-1920s. Handsome, charming Dick Diver is a successful doctor and psychiatrist who is married to a beautiful, wealthy, schizophrenic former patient, Nicole. He realizes that he "lost himself" in his 30s when he stopped regularly practicing his profession. The Divers and their two children live in an expansive villa, holding parties "organized for excitement" and frequenting fellow expats, who include both Nicole's lover, Tommy, and Dick's, Rosemary. Undone by excessive leisure—"Why did he leave medicine?" Dick asks himself—he gets into drunken brawls with the police that destroy his reputation. Nicole eventually leaves him for her paramour, and Dick settles into a modest medical practice in a small town in upstate New York, drifting into ever-diminishing circumstances, all ambition gone.