Hide and Speak

These days, Wiggins is anything but quarantined. Now 51, she has a new relationship with a man she describes as a professional explorer. "He built a leather boat and sailed across the Atlantic," she says. "Then he built a bamboo raft and sailed across the Pacific." The couple started the year by sailing down the Amazon and recently returned from Tonga. Wiggins, who wears a whale pendant around her neck, says her next book involves writing a new version of Moby Dick, a character who almost certainly is not based on anyone she knows. "I'm a writer of fiction," she says, as if she has to remind people a dozen times a day. "I glory in my anonymity. I was actually temperamentally very well suited to being in hiding because it's pretty much the way that I live." Could such a declaration send Salinger knocking at her door? "I think he's probably pretty busy," Wiggins laughs. "And quite frankly, I've had it with psychotics."

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