Writer Margaret Atwood, in her tongue-in-cheek take on writerly ambition, captures the desperate quest for literary recognition: "The Devil comes to the writer and says, 'I will make you the best writer of your generation. Not only the best, but the most famous, and also the richest; in addition to that, you will be very influential and your glory will endure for ever. All you have to do is sell me your grandmother, your mother, your wife, your kids, your dog and your soul.' 'Sure,' says the writer, 'absolutely--give me the pen, where do I sign?' Then he hesitates. 'Just a minute,' he says. 'What's the catch?' "