October 8, 2009
October 2, 2009
The latest in a series of posts on authors who praise each other’s work
Nora Roberts on Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan’s Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels:
“Funny, irreverent, insightful, and thorough, this guide zeroes in on the joys and woes of the romance genre.”
Sarah Wendell on Ethan Quinn, the hero of Nora Roberts’s Rising Tides, in Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels:
“Another Roberts hero. I love them. A quiet yet deeply intense man who hides turbulent and overwhelming emotions, Ethan is ferocious about a very specific group: those people he considers his family. Again, that intensity, plus healing and recovery from deep emotional harm, creates a deeply memorable hero.”
© 2009 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved
September 25, 2009
The latest in an occasional series of posts on authors who praise each other’s work
Lisa Kleypas on Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan’s Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels:
“A high-octane, hilarious, and revelatory look at the romance genre … This sparkling book is required reading. It’s too much fun to be missed!”
Candy Tan on the hero of Lisa Kleypas’s Only With Your Love, in Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels:
“Justin is my favorite guilty pleasure. … He’s my ultimate fantasy hero, and by that I mean he’s someone I desire strictly as a fantasy.”
© 2009 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.
September 20, 2009
September 7, 2009
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.
August 21, 2009
The latest in a series of occasional posts on authors who praise each other’s work
Gloria Steinem on J. Courtney Sullivan’s Commencement:
“Take Mary McCarthy’s The Group, add a new feminist generation striving to understand everything from themselves and their mothers to the notion of masculinity that fuels sex trafficking, and you get this generous-hearted, brave first novel. Commencement makes clear that the feminist revolution is just beginning.”
J. Courtney Sullivan on Gloria Steinem in Commencement:
From the acknowledgments for Commencement: “For helping me understand the reality of sex trafficking in America, I owe thanks to … Gloria Steinem.”
From the pages of Commencement: “I came here because it was the alma mater of Gloria Steinem and Molly Ivins. I thought it was the most effective place to fight the patriarchy in this godforsaken country.” — A character named April on why she wanted to attend Smith College
Also from Commencement: “Her ultimate hero was Gloria Steinem. She had improved countless lives , with actions as simple as setting up networks of women who would otherwise never have found one another and starting a magazine devoted to feminism. She always stood up for what was right and never compromised her principles, but she also didn’t offend the average person’s sensibilities and wasn’t afraid to highlight her hair. She liked men! She dated. She got married, though it ended tragically. She was a real woman who believed in equality. Wasn’t that a hundred times more powerful than the contributions of someone who was divisive and scary. …? — A Smith alumna named Sally on the different types of activism
Other examples of logrolling appear in the Backscratching in Our Time category on this site.
July 31, 2009
June 25, 2009
April 17, 2009
Haven Kimmel on Suzanne Finnamore’s Split: A Memoir of Divorce (Dutton, 2008):
“So perfectly right. I loved it, loved it, loved it. P.S. Loved it.”
Haven Kimmel on Suzanne Finnamore’s novel The Zygote Chronicles (Grove, 2002): “The Zygote Chronicles is tender and funny and perfect, and from now on I’m going to read it instead of having more children.”
Suzanne Finnamore on Haven Kimmel’s Something Rising: A Novel: (Free Press, 2005)
“It is impossible to put down, it is impossible to keep from laughing out loud, and it is impossible to imagine a more compelling and poignant coming-of-age story than Something Rising. Shades of Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor grace the text…her characters breathe and walk among us, haunting and glorious in their imperfection. It’s official: Haven Kimmel is a national treasure.”
This is the latest in an occasional series of posts on authors who praise each other’s books, inspired by “Logrolling in Our Time” in the old Spy magazine. You can find other examples of literary backscratching in the Backscratching in Our Time category. One-Minute Book Reviews welcomes suggestions about authors who should appear in this series.
May 19, 2008
Max Hastings on Michael Howard:
“In Britain, Professor Sir Michael Howard, OM, CH, MC, and Don Berry were kind enough to read and discuss this manuscript, as they did that of my earlier book Armageddon.”
Max Hastings in the acknowledgments for Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944–1945 (Knopf, 2008), published in the U.K. under the title Nemesis.
Michael Howard on Max Hastings:
“This is a book not only for military history buffs but for anyone who wants to understand what happened in half the world during one of the bloodiest periods of the blood-soaked 20th century.”
Michael Howard in “The Worst of Friends,” a review of the book for the Oct. 3, 2007, Spectator www.spectator.co.uk, England’s most influential magazine of opinion. Howard’s quote appears on the cover of the American edition of Retribution.
I normally post examples of literary backscratching without comment. But these two require a short explanation. The National Book Critics Circle found in a recent survey of its members, “Ethics in Book Reviewing,” that 68.5 percent of respondents thought a book editor should not assign a book to someone mentioned in the acknowledgments
The ethics of book reviewing differ in Britain, where the culture of full disclosure does not exist to the degree that it does in America. The pool of eligible reviewers is smaller in the U.K. and, without a more flexible standard, editors might have trouble finding qualified reviewers. And a potential conflict-of-interest does not always result in a weak review. Michael Howard’s review for the Spectator is more fluent, authoritative and interesting than reviews by others in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. You may wonder if Howard had reservations about Retribution that he withheld. But you still learn more about the book from his comments than from most – if not all – of the American reviews.
© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.