‘I’m not a gay writer, I’m a monster’: did James Purdy foresee Trump’s America?

At first he was feted. But then his novel about a handsome, Yale-educated serial rapist made him an outcast. Ten years after his death, has the scabrous authors time finally come? On 6 August 2015, the American author and playwright Cabot Wright Begins. A scabrous satire about three of New Yorks sacred cows publishing, politics and psychiatry the novel concerns the battle for the biographical rights of the titular Wright, a handsome, Yale-educated stockbroker and serial rapist. New York Times book critic Orville Prescott called it the sick outpouring of a confused, adolescent, distraught mind. A counter-attack from Susan Sontag hailed it as a bravura work of satire, but the damage was done. If my life up to then had …