Author Jay McInerney writes thoughtfully about his relationship with Jane Austen‘s work in this excerpt from his essay featured in A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen. “We love Jane Austen through her heroines,” McInerney says. “Knowing so little about her, we worship her surrogates. And generally speaking, unless we are cranky scholars or celibate critics, we love and rank the novels according to our regard for the female principals. I can’t help finding my own response to the novels coloured by the degree to which I find the heroines attractive, although over the course of some 30 years of reading and rereading, I find my admiration shifting among the young ladies…” McInerney and Austen are not two writers we would naturally connect in our minds, which is why we love pieces like this.