A telling tale of the writer's journey. Late in the novel, there's a reference to a Ward Wellington Ward house on Euclid Avenue in Syracuse, NY; I was sufficiently curious to email Wolff at Stanford to 1) tell him how much I enjoyed the novel and 2) to ask him whether the house in question was the Kellogg House, at the corner of Euclid and Lancaster. I lived next door to this beautiful house during my junior year at Syracuse University and had always admired it.
Wolff very graciously fired right back: "Jackpot! That's the very house I had in mind. Some friends of ours lived in another of his houses, but the Kellogg house was the jewel. I'm delighted you liked the novel; thanks for letting me know."