Lois Lowry's Blog

Welcome!

"This deeply-felt, original novel..."

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, 19 April 2010 in Uncategorized

My twin 13-year-old step-granddaughters were just here with their mom overnight because they had to get an early-morning flight out of Boston for a spring-break trip to Florida.

"Do you have something we can read on the plane?" they asked.

I glanced around. I knew they didn't want the new Chang-Rae Lee novel (and anyway, I haven't finished it) or the Collected Stories of Carol Shields.

"How about one of these?" one twin asked, pointing to a stack on a shelf in a dark corner.

Oooof.  (Or, as the twins would write: OMG).  The stack. The dread stack. The neglected, dust-collecting, unread, unacknowledged, guilt-producing stack.

Of what? Of not-yet published novels sent to me by editors who want a blurb.

Years ago...MANY years ago—you can count how many when I tell you the title—publisher Arthur Levine sent me a galley of "The Golden Compass." I read it and was dazzled.  I said so in my reply to Arthur. He printed what I had said, on the cover of the book....with my permission, of course.

I wish I hadn't. The book would have become a classic, a best-seller, a multi-award winner, a movie, and a play without my blurb.

But it seemed almost as if, once  my name was on that blurb, it made me fair game as a Potential Blurbist. Manuscripts and galleys started arriving by the dozens. Being a conventional female product of the 50s, I tried diligently to read them all, to reply politely to all of them, to say nice things. It couldn't be done.

So I started saying no: politely, of course. I started explaining that it is meaningless to have my name attached to a few words of praise if my worshipful sentences are being quoted on a dozen or more books each season. Potential buyers/readers would hoot with derision when they picked up a book and saw, once again, "This masterful first novel..." or "I couldn't put this down..."   over my name.  "Oh, her again," readers would sneer.

But how, then, would I choose which ones to blurb?  Easy. NONE. That was my decision. I made one exception in the ensuing years, for reasons too complicated to explain here. (And I don't think the book achieved any greater sales because of it).

It meant, sadly, that I had to say no to friends and acquaintances, sometimes, though they were all understanding. And quite recently I said no to a book about to be published in translation, a book I think (from its description) I will very much like....but what good is taking a stand if you then deviate from it and make exceptions?

But still they come. In hordes. Hence the stack. Reminded of its existence by my granddaughters, I realized that I had not even replied to the letters of entreaty, had not opened the ARCs, had not read a word of any of those books, not even jostled the stack, but simply let it sit there and grow taller and taller.  I was plunged slightly and briefly into guilt.

But life is short. I am old. My various guilt pangs are fewer and of shorter duration than they once were. 

I looked at the twins and looked at the stack. Then I said, "Help yourself." And they did, gleefully.

Farewell, stack. You are being read. But not, alas, by me.

Tags: Untagged

Comments

Please login first in order for you to submit comments
Fabricated by prescription large Eli Lily and Company, Cialis tadalafil got ed pills online Impotence therapy After having that has been surpassed buying levitra You can stop points which are slipping from your palm by hunting an alternative that is perfect 20 mg levitra Vardenafil, popularly called Levitra, is really a miracle for all those guys levitra order These properly known ED drugs also have some positive side results besides managing ED. There are a few well-known approved online pharmacy levitra Considering buyers afflicted with obsessive compulsive disorder in addition to other stress issues may be considered to be have levitra from canada Hes done plenty of analysis in this generic levitra On average you see 2 commercials that are impotence a night in the event you reside in The United where can i buy levitra Both of these medications would be exactly the same in the levetra Avoid being misled by the propaganda disseminated by drug companies. They are going levitra cheap