My new novel, The Islanders, is complete, and life starts returning to what most people would call normal. The manuscript (in reality, a PDF file), was delivered at the beginning of August, attended by the usual sense of anticlimax. You hit Return, a green bar dashes across the monitor display, and there it is, gone. In a sense, it’s gone forever, because once other people start reading it, it’s difficult to claw the thing back to make changes. I’m already thinking of small details I’d like to change, but on past experience know it’s probably best not to try. If you make too many last-minute changes, somebody somewhere is going to get hold of the wrong text and send it to the printer, as Jonathan Franzen has just discovered with his new novel Freedom. I wonder how often that happens to writers who aren’t as famous as Franzen, and so we don’t hear about it? It happened, e.g., to my book The Dream Archipelago, which I had expanded with two new stories and in general revised the rest of the text. Somehow, the old text slipped through the process, the book was actually printed, and I happened to notice only when the publisher sent my presentation copies. Fortunately, unlike Franzen, I was able to stop the copies being sold, the print-run was pulped, and the book re-appeared several months later.