"The rich," writes William McPherson at the opening of his essay "Falling," posted at the Hedgehog Review, "are all alike, to revise Tolstoy's famous words, but the poor are poor in their own particular ways." McPherson is writing from experience; a novelist and former editor of the Washington Post Book World (he won the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for criticism), he is currently living in poverty.
"I am poor," he explains. "To put it directly, I have no money. Does this embarrass me? Of course, it embarrasses me - and a lot of other things as well. It's humiliating to be poor, to be dependent on the kindness of family and friends and government subsidies. But it sure is an education."