Joyce Maynard did not fit in at Yale the first time around. When she arrived on campus as a freshman, in , she was a lonely, aloof eighteen-year-old. On many weekends, she stood by the side of I to hitchhike home, to New Hampshire. By the end of her first semester, she had applied to relocate to a so-called psychological single, on the far end of campus. Already an accomplished writer, Maynard picked up freelance assignments in her spare time, including, in the spring of her freshman year, a cover story for the Times Magazine.
Over the years, Maynard has related many of these events in her syndicated newspaper column now defunct and in articles for women's magazines. Oddly, she has been chastized severely, and often for imagining that any of them could possibly be interesting. The one thing Maynard has done that everyone agrees is interesting is have a nine-month affair with J.