One-Minute Book Reviews

September 7, 2009

Aleksandar Hemon Sends Up a Pulitzer Prize–Winner’s Bad Writing

Filed under: Short Stories — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 9:42 pm
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Aleksandar Hemon has an amusing sendup of the bad writing of a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist in “The Noble Truths of Suffering,” a story in Love and Obstacles (Riverhead, 224 pp., $25.95). An example of the pretentious prose of Dick Macalister (whose name and literary affect suggest Cormac McCarthy): “Before Nam, Cupper was burdened with the pointless enthusiasm of youth.” There and elsewhere in the story, Hemon nails the macho posturing that prize judges often reward, though his tale is more than a sendup of pomposity. “The Noble Truths of Suffering” appeared in The New Yorker and remains on its Web site.

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‘Well-Known Name’ Asks for $1,000 to Blurb a Book, Author Claims

A potential blurber seeks cash for his labors …

A “well-known name” asked for a $1,000 “honorarium” to give a blurb for a book, author David Macaray claims on the site for the Poynter Institute, the Florida school and resource center for journalists.

Horse-trading has existed in blurbing for as long as I’ve been following the publishing industry, and I’ve posted examples in the “Backscratching in Our Time” series on this site.  But until now I haven’t heard of anyone asking for cash for praise for a comment that would appear on the dust-jacket of a book or elsewhere — which isn’t to say it it hasn’t happened. A hat tip to Bill Williams for letting me know about this one.

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