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In an interview that followed the publication of Common Ground he gave some hints about his impending suicide, linking it with his career as a writer.
" All writers ...," he said, " are, to one extent or another, damaged people.
Writing is our way of repairing ourselves.
In my own case, I was filling a hole in my life which opened at the age of eight, when my mother killed herself, throwing our family into utter disarray.
My father quickly developed tuberculosis — psychosomatically triggered, the doctors thought — forcing him to seek treatment in an Arizona sanatorium.
We sold our house and my brother and I were shipped off to boarding school.
Effectively, from the age of eight, I had no family, and certainly no community.
That's one reason the book worked: I wasn't just writing a book about busing.
I was filling a hole in myself ".

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