This, then, is Ware’s defense for the insecurities he outlines on the side of the box: that sustained artistic attention to everyday life is an honorable enterprise, justification enough for the tenuous place his and Katchor’s books occupy in the marketplace.
What does it mean to be a young writer? Not much, unless you’ve made it onto one of ‘‘the lists.’’ These lists—the New Yorker’s ‘‘20 Under 40,’’ Granta’s ‘‘20 Under 40,’’ et al.—turn young writers into Young Writers. Now you are the object of fascination, of jealousy, of applause, sometimes even disdain. Now the public has been invited not only to celebrate your talent and productivity but also to consider, explicitly, your youth.