Against All Odds

May 31st, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

This morning, a very cheery MJ Rose tells us that, give or take, there are approximately 500 new titles being published each week. Let us make that more clear: 500 new books hit the shelves every week. No wonder we go to dinner parties and have no books in common with the person sitting next to us. What are the odds we’d ever find the same two titles?

We agree with MJ that the problem isn’t too many authors — it’s a combination of things. First, of course, is telling the world you have a book. Or rather, telling the world why you have a book. We all have reasons for writing. Leora Skolkin-Smith found hers when she found her voice.

A certain unmistakable character trait began to manifest itself these early struggling writing days. It was Grace Paley, a friend to my piles of drafts and rejection letters from publishers, who finally said: “You know, you have a certain fight and pridefulness in you not unlike your mother’s.” This was an alarming thing to say to me, as a major part of my literary clay was my conflict with this mother. I always told myself I would rather jump out a window than be like her.

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