“Why is it that all advertising people I’ve ever known want to get out? They all want to build their own schooners, plank by plank, and sail to the Tasman Sea. I know a copywriter at Creighton Insko Dale. At lunch one day he started to cry.”
The Awl profiles the before-and-after careers of DeLillo and five other authors who started in advertising.
“Yet for all six, advertising was mostly just a means to an end—a day job to keep them solvent until they were lucky enough to leave. But their time in advertising wasn’t a waste: as copywriters, some learned how to write economically and on deadline; others discovered fertile subjects in the office life and business culture around them; while others used office hours to work on the books that would later make their names.”