The Bad News is Good News

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16 September 2009

This candid account from Daniel Menaker of what it’s like to try to get a literary novel into the real world — including detail on all the specific mathematical and cultural odds stacked against both editor and author —  was a revelation.

There’s almost only bad news in here, but I found reading it a kind of relief.  The truth is like that sometimes.  It reminds me of a scene in Season 2 of Mad Men, where Betty goes to see her father, whose dementia is advancing, though no one in the family wants to say so; and her childhood nursemaid says to her, “Your father is very very sick,” and Betty responds: “You have no idea how nice it is to hear someone say that.”

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