Hey, man, how are you? Uh-huh; that's great. Listen, did you finish reading my new book? Yeah, yeah, "The Grapes Of Wrath." Did you finish it?

What did you think of the ending? No, I really do want to hear what you think.

What – what does it mean? It's right there. It's a man sucking on a woman's boobs. I think that's pretty clear. Do you need more? I thought I was a good writer. Maybe I'm wrong. Let me ask what my Pulitzer thinks. It can't talk, but it has my name on it.

I thought you understood, man. John gets lonely. John needs a little excitement. You know what it's like to be with this woman Carol, my wife? It's terrible. I'm trying to tell people, "I need this. That shop closed up long ago. If I want to buy my medicine, it's going to be in the books or not at all." If there's any metaphor here, it's the dustbowl.

So forgive me if I tried to make a good American novel great. Most people would've put the pen down after pleasing the critics. I only put the pen down after pleasing myself.

You're not the first, though. I read some review that said the ending represented my "belief in the power of sacrifice for the greater good of mankind." What? Like, "Okay, yeah. Ya' got me. I just wrote a five-hundred-page book so I could hide the moral in a titty-sucking scene on the last page. Guilty!"

Come on. You can't kid a kidder. Unless there was a misprint, that scene reads as just one thing, and that's man on woman action.

But here's the good news: paid by the word. Viking Press gets their sob story about poor people; readers get the hottest scene of the decade; and I get cash money.

I mean, America! I love this country!