While I was in graduate school, I worked part-time at a literary agency. My primary job was read the slush. After a few months, I turned to the senior agent with whom I shared an office and said, “It would be nice to find something good once in a while.” She laughed the dry laugh of the knowing, “tell me about it.” Her all knowingness was coupled with a weariness, squared with disgust and finished with a demi-glaze of contempt. Someone once asked me how I know if something’ s good. It bites me in the ass. Have you ever missed anything? Does turning down The Liar’s Club count? Are you afraid of missing something that could be huge? No. That’s the way the crumble cookies. If you don’t see it, you can’t sell it. Every work that surfaces did so because it was believed in. You can’t get it all. That said, if I turned my adorable nose up at anything that went on to become a “franchise” like Fifty Shades or Twilight or The Tipping Point, yeah I would want to die. At the very least turn in my agenting badge.
What books out there would you have missed had they crossed your desk?
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