E.L. Doctorow (1931-2015) photographed by Jill Krementz swimming with Becky in Gardiner's Bay on August 3, 1975.

Doctorow’s Doctor

Back in the early 1990s, I mailed Edgar Doctorow a short story I had written and he wrote back inviting me to visit him at his NYU office. It turned out he was generous with his time and he liked that I was a practicing physician. Sometimes, he was that character from his novella Lives of the Poets, steeped in hypochondria constantly seeking relief, while at other times his interest in medical things seemed to come from his name Doctorow. He told me of the time he was awakened in the middle of the night at a motel by a frantic clerk who had a sick client and mistook the surname for doctor and thought he could help him. “I was tempted to offer my advice,” he said.

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