Can you think of any excellent writer (someone you personally would consider exceptionally talented, perceptive, possessed of the capacity for profound insight) who has had an "easy life"? This is not a rhetorical question--I'm not trying to make a point about adversity building character or something--but a literal one. Not just a normal life, but a really easy one--born wealthy, no significant family tragedies, no persecution, no hardships. Is there anyone? Martin Amis, maybe?
[5/13 7:25 pm] A good friend argues that Shakespeare and Ray Bradbury might be said to have had lives like this.