Sunday, February 15, 2004

Stirring the pot 

Because I'm bored and a geek, I went to look up what "A Reader in St. Louis, MO" (aka Dave Eggers) had to say about Heidi Julavits' new book THE EFFECT OF LIVING BACKWARDS:

Readers beware: Heidi Julavits is one of the editors of The Believer, a new book review. In a recent issue, they ran an article about something called the Underground Literary Alliance, which is basically two guys who can't get their fiction published. Because they're so frustrated, they spend lots of time saying that anyone who does get published is "well-connected" or such rot. In their view, no one in the world who's been had a book out in the last couple decades deserved to. They have been known to disrupt readings, and to send threatening mail to writers. They're pretty much the crazed stalkers of the literary world. One of their tactics is to get on Amazon and make psychotic claims about every living author's unworthiness to have their books in print. Because Julavits published an unflattering article about the ULA, she's being singled out for special punishment by these sad little loonies. So please ignore the strange reviews on this page. This book lives up to all of its great reviews. It's one of the best books of the year.

Ah, aren't ad hominem attacks and defensive praise just fun to behold? I don't know that I'd go so far as Ed does in saying that Eggers is "an unethical and highly scrupulous enfant terrible" but the above rant certainly seems indicative of a thin skin. On the other hand, everybody likes a good conspiracy theory, right Dave?

UPDATE: Naturally, the ULA weighs in with their own, shall we say, rather skewed take on the NYT article.

AND ANOTHER UPDATE: No, thank you, Jennifer Weiner, for another reasoned, funny, thoughtful post.

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