I read this on The Story Prize blog after seeing it on The Outlet blog. Gurganus’ points about conciseness in fiction in these hectic times are hard to argue with. The novella may be the most perfect form of literary art in the 2010s. But I think it always has been, and he makes that point, too, that many of the greatest works of literature are actually novellas. A few of my favorites: Of Mice and Men; The Pearl; Tristessa; Bartleby, the Scrivener; Wyoming; The Ballad of the Sad Café. The list could go on and on.
Electric Lit has part 2 of Susan Kirschbaum’s “Diary of a Rogue Writer” posted today. This part gets into the real salesmanship part of it and creating buzz. Read it.
Susan Kirschbaum’s telling her story about self-publishing her novel Who Town. Part 1 is up today at Electric Literature. After checking it out, I think it’s a must-read for anyone looking to publish a novel today. The former editor of Grove Atlantic tells her to self-publish. I think that’s pretty telling as to the state of book publishing. I’m very interested to read Part 2 about distributing the novel, because that seems to be where a big publishing house can really help with PR and marketing. Without that, what do you do?