I’ve mentioned it before, but Gerard Jones’ Everyone Who’s Anyone in Adult Trade Publishing collects rejection letters sent to Mr. Jones by agents and editors. Contact information is provided in most cases. In this week’s MobyLives column, Jones writes about the site (item appears at far left) and discusses some of the letters he’s received. One editor’s rejection ended like this:
Whether or not you wish to subscribe to the parameters of popular fiction in order to alter the fate of your work is up to you. In the end, you may be happier with the job at McDonald’s. Warm regards, Hillery Borton
Dear Ms. Borton: You apparently want popular fiction to continue to be fatuous, formulaic and stupid. Why? Why not give people a chance to read something fresh and true? Something entertaining and honest and funny and tragic? You sound like someone with some integrity. Why, then, wouldn’t you rather work at McDonald’s than continue to promote the fatuous, formulaic claptrap and crap that passes itself off as popular fiction? Thanks for your warm regards. Gerard Jones
The new editor of the New York Times Book Review has yet to be named (please note that this item was posted at 1:45 a.m.). Publishers Weekly purports to provide a list of hopefuls, including Donald Rumsfeld, Rosie O’Donnell, Dale Peck, Dave Eggers, Heidi Julavits, and more, and predicts how each would perform:
Donald Rumsfeld: Inscrutability and a tendency toward information of no discernible value helps him fit in at beginning. But his tenure ends in disaster when he is overheard wondering to an assistant “if these bestseller lists here give out too much information.”
(Via The Antic Muse.)
Dublin’s Impac longlist has been announced. Among the contenders are AS Byatt, JM Coetzee, Margaret Drabble, Umberto Eco, Jeffrey Eugenides, Rohinton Mistry, Annie Proulx, Zadie Smith, Donna Tartt, and John Updike.
A year after receiving word of Ruth Lilly’s much-vaunted $100 gift to Poetry magazine, the publication is still in the early stages of deciding what to do with the money. “Poets just are sort of ill at ease around a lot of money,” says editor Christian Wiman.
Stephen Williams, a Canadian investigative writer, penned two books analyzing “the case of the brutal sex killings of Canadian teenagers Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French in the early 1990s.” Last week, police in Ontario took action against Wiliams for allegedly disobeying a court order and violating a publication ban (based on material in the two books and on his website, which was shut down in May). PEN Canada has joined “Williams’s battle against censorship and is calling for law enforcement authorities in Ontario to explain why they have consistently treated a writer as if he were a violent and dangerous criminal who posed an imminent threat to society.” (Via Arts Journal.)
Alison Jackson’s celebrity photo book isn’t quite what it seems on a casual flip-through, although it:
gives us all the pictures that every paparazzo has ever dreamed of getting, in this world or the next. Here’s Prince William starkers, with just a flannel for cover. Here’s Osama bin Laden boozing with Saddam Hussein. Here are Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed dandling their first baby. There’s David Beckham just after being bloodied by that boot.
To get away with it, Jackson has to make the most solemn disclaimer: “The photographs in this book do not, nor are they intended to, represent any actual event that has taken place, nor that will take place … These well-known individuals have not had any involvement in the creation of the photographs …”
Scroll to the bottom of this page for a link to a gallery of celebrity photos, some of celebrities, some of lookalikes.