As I have been told more times than I would have liked to have heard, The White City didn’t sell as well as that other book about the Columbian Exposition, whatever-it’s-called. No surprise there. What was a surprise, to its author at least, was that two chapters I gutted and revised for the paperback edition weren’t included.
As Paul Auster put it, more or less, a writer’s tinkering is never finished, and editors or agents or representatives of mental institutions must wrest the words from the writer’s desk. As a self-admitted tinkerer, I couldn’t agree with the sage Auster more. I also couldn’t help but grimace with embarrassment when I was reading from my first novel in public. Though much of the blame falls with me, and me alone, I do wish the book had been edited by someone who knew what they were doing and knew, too, where I wanted to go. That said, I couldn’t restrain myself from revising parts of the book the night before, and sometimes mere moments before, my public readings, and though I later gussied up my revisions and sent them to the publisher, they were not included in the paperback edition, as promised. For the one or two of you out there who might care about this kind of thing, I wanted to include them here, purely for scholarly purposes.
Revised Chapter 22
Revised Chapter 26