However as Ms. Scott’s fame for gifting away cash has grown, so, too, has the deluge of appeals for presents from strangers and outdated pals alike. That clamor could have pushed Ms. Scott’s already discreet operation additional underground, with latest philanthropic bulletins akin to sudden lightning bolts for unsuspecting recipients.
Makes an attempt to succeed in Ms. Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, a chemistry instructor, for this text by telephone, e mail and letter, instantly and thru intermediaries, have been met with silence.
As a substitute, The New York Occasions relied on interviews with greater than two dozen pals, academics, former colleagues and acquaintances from each chapter of her life, in addition to public data and the uncommon interviews Ms. Scott has given, typically together with the publication of considered one of her novels. This text can be based mostly on beforehand unpublished letters between Ms. Scott and Ms. Morrison, saved within the Nobel laureate’s archive on the Princeton College library.
“I suppose the one method I’ll discover out what won’t work for me in life is by making an attempt it,” she wrote to Ms. Morrison in September 1992, a couple of months after commencement and at a pivotal second for her future. Waitressing in New York had proved extra grueling than ready tables in Princeton throughout faculty, leaving her too drained to jot down.
“I discovered myself with unpredictable and small chunks of time throughout which I both collapsed from exhaustion and frustration, or ruminated over the excruciating monotony of creating and promoting sandwiches,” she wrote, “and fearful about how I would pay my hire with the nickels they gave me in change for my ennui.”
The week earlier than, she had began work at an funding agency, together with her future husband, Mr. Bezos.
Three a long time after worrying about making hire, and even within the wake of her latest presents, Ms. Scott, 52, hovers round $50 billion, based on Forbes journal. She has set about dispersing her huge fortune with unprecedented velocity and directness to frontline charities and nonprofits with a said emphasis on advancing social justice and combating inequality, all whereas making an attempt to maintain herself out of the highlight.
“Placing massive donors on the heart of tales on social progress is a distortion of their position,” she wrote in an essay final 12 months, one in a sequence of deliberate public communiqués on her giving.