paper trail

Apr 5, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

George Saunders

Carla Blumenkranz has irrevocably shattered our illusion that book publishing is a humane, just, and kind industry. Blumenkranz offers a cutting portrait of publishing-house grunt work: "She showed me how to read manuscripts she didn't want from agents—by shuffling the pages until they looked like they'd been read," Blumenkranz writes of one editor, who also taught her "how to respond to unsolicited work—'Sorry to say that Trouble in Venice just didn't speak to me the way I'd hoped it would.'"

The Daily Beast inaugurates its "Writers to Watch" series, with the first installment's author going gaga for Julie Orringer's debut novel, The Invisible Bridge, a "grand historical work."

The Book Examiner's "Reviewerspeak Awards" slaughters a long-suffering species: the formulaic book review. What does the Examiner add to what is perhaps the easiest nit-picking critique since ridiculing an athlete's post-game statements? Not to get all Believer-y on you, but how does this snarky "award" help anyone? The author explains: "Clichés are leeches. They drain the blood out of everything a reviewer is trying to say, blood that would be better off pumped straight from the writer's carotid artery onto the page."

Satirist George Saunders pledges his love for “the UK. Or, you know, of, ah, England. That is to say, I guess—Britain? You know what I mean."