Pete Dexter's tale

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The Independent Culture
'PARIS TROUT was the first book I wrote with a computer. I got to the last day of the long, middle section, hit the keys and suddenly this line of bright, orange, happy faces came across the screen. I started punching things back up but not only was the hard drive screwed up, the memory was completely shocked.

'I took it almost immediately to the computer guy and he said: 'Don't worry, we can find a way in.' Several weeks later he came back to me and said: 'I think we got most of it.' And it was like 110 pages of words that had no order. It was the damndest thing you've ever seen.

'I had to rewrite that central and easily most difficult part of the book. It came out 10 pages shorter than the original and I've no idea what I lost. What do I think? I think I lost the greatest prose that's ever been written by an American . . .]'