You get the sense that, as she wrote it, Miller was still having arguments in her head with Wallace. But this is what gives the book its energy and its wisdom. It is honest about the conflicting effects an influential older man can have on a woman’s career. She learned that “art is all about rigour and precision” from Wallace, who hymned her praises as an editor. But he showed no interest at all in her own novel when she began describing it. “I wonder why you’re telling me this,” he said cruelly. How much we give each other, how much we take away.