Amazon’s entry into publishing has created an awkward divide, giving some book people a second or a third chance in an imperilled industry while tainting them in the eyes of others. The literary agent, contemplating the future of the editors currently at Amazon, said, “You’d have to consider the time you spent with Vichy when you’re looking for work after the occupation.” Benjamin Anastas, a novelist who couldn’t find an American publisher for his third book, told a friend that he was going to publish his fourth, a memoir called “Too Good to Be True,” with Amazon. The friend, a novelist who had once worked at Harcourt—the house that [...]
To be published Sunday: a literary throw-down of unparalleled proportions. How great! A couple of weeks ago, George Packer reviewed for the Times Mark Danner's Stripping Bare the Body, a book that explores violence and war from Haiti to the Balkans to Iraq. This review did not do much for Danner. Hence, this coming Sunday, there is an enormous, enormous letter of complaint-it takes up more than a full page-and as well a not-terribly-brief rejoinder from Packer. We have some advance to show you!
The New Yorker's George Packer shares the wisdom of the roofer: "It's like they're afraid of me! So they hire a guy who's more comfortable dealing with a masculine-type person. I stand there and talk to the customer, and the customer doesn't talk to me or look at me, he talks to the intermediary, and the intermediary talks to me. It's the yuppie buffer." He wasn't slurring gay men-he described these customers as mainly "metrosexuals"-nor was the problem all yuppies, some of whom had been his customers for years. It was a new group who had moved from Manhattan in the past few years, and who could not detach [...]