• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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No You Didn’t

Yesterday,  I had lunch with one of the smartest editors in the business. She allowed how she keeps a file for letters from authors that express their gratitude — and that these letters buoy her on particulary rough days.

I allowed how I keep an “asshole” file. I started it when I first became an agent, and I didn’t quite know how to handle the sting of rejection. After all, as an editor, I had been on the rejecting side for so long.

I didn’t put just any letter in there. No, the rejection had to strike a particular note of condescension, arrogance,  falsehood — you see where I’m going with this.

Eventually, some client letters made it into the file, especially the three page single-spaced letter dipped in acid from the gnome who fired me –who will go unnamed. You know who you are, and that was a fuckin’ brilliant letter, completely raising the bar. I salute you.

The best letter so far, however, is from a distinguised editor who wrote that if the book I was submitting was my idea of art, I should look into a career in real estate. That’s a keeper!

5 Responses

  1. Hmm. This is, perhaps, just a tad troubling, considering your recent serial killer remark. Do you also have a manifesto filed away?

  2. YES! I still have a letter of encouragement from an editor that was written on a small torn piece of yellow ledger paper. Is it any wonder, when most of our correspondence from editors is so lethal?

  3. Haha, I like you already. I have one of these files too. I have been using to build a psychological profile of the type of person who becomes an editor. I think the arrogance is a kind of overcompensation for deep insecurities.

  4. An asshole file? Genius.

  5. All this talk of “assholes” and “files” reminds me of the worm ouroborous, the snake that eats itself. The filing system here is to tell the thing that’s filed to file itself in itself, or something like that… now I’m totally confused.


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