Famous Writers Reveal Their Unattainable First Crushes


Whoever the object of your prepubescent passion, you’ll recognize the pangs of longing in the new essay collection Crush, in which 37 writers gush about their unattainable first loves. A sample of their budding romances:

Crusher: Jodi Picoult, author of the forthcoming novel Small Great Things

Crushee: Donny Osmond

This Magic Moment: Catching a glimpse of his megawatt smile at the age of 6

Heart to heart: “I’ve sometimes wondered what would have happened if I’d magically teleported from my backyard...to the studio where Donny & Marie was filmed, what Mr. Osmond would have done when confronted by a grubby... child clutching a pillowcase emblazoned with a bad likeness of his face.... I like to believe he would have given me a cookie to feed my hunger, and perhaps a kiss on the cheek to feed my dreams.”

Crusher: Stephen King, author of the forthcoming novel End of Watch

Crushee: Kim Novak

This Magic Moment: Watching 1955’s Picnic at the movies when he was 8 years old

Heart to Heart: “It was the first time I really noticed a woman’s breasts, I think.... I fell deeply in love, although she was adult and terrifying. I could imagine a kiss from her as being a prelude to ingesting me whole, but that would have been okay. Just fine, in fact.”

Crusher: Roxane Gay, author of the forthcoming memoir Hunger

Crushee: Almanzo Wilder

These Magic Moments: Reading the Little House books, in which Almanzo wins the affection of pioneer schoolteacher Laura Ingalls

Heart to Heart: "There was the time he won a buggy race even though he had his horses pulling a heavy wagon. There was that time he and Cap Garland braved brutal winter weather to bring wheat to town so the townsfolk wouldn't starve. That Almanzo was such a mighty good man."



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