I got what I’d politely call a very confrontational e-mail from an author last week. She writes for a smaller press (electronic and POD), and referred to herself as an “independent author.” The gist of her e-mail was that AAR unfairly discriminates against “independent authors.”
Now, I’m not new to this job; I’ve been doing it for over a decade now. I learned long ago that there’s no way to please everyone. In fact, there are some days when I feel like I can’t please anyone (reviewers, readers, authors, publishers). But this particular e-mail made me realize that perhaps some clarification was in order.
Dagestan is a province in the Northern Caucasus of Russia. (Don’t let the “Northern” in its name fool you. By Russian standards, that’s in the south.) It is known as the site of some terrorist activity, as well as corruption. According to the Library of Congress web site, it is also the site of the latest book review controversy. A novelist in Dagestan sued a book reviewer over a negative review that appeared in the local press. The author complained that the review gave him medical symptoms such as chest pains, as well as causing both himself and his family to undergo “severe mental suffering.” Continue reading
Today nine books were reviewed in the Outlook section, the new “home” for book coverage in the Post.
Two were reviews of books by women, which leaves…well, you know seven written by men. One of those was a book written by a man about a woman (Flannery O’Connor). Does that get any extra points?
And the band plays on.