• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
  • Archives

Don’t You Ever for a Second Get to Thinking You’re Irreplaceable

Did I ever turn down a book that went on to become a bestseller. Have you heard of The Liar’s Club? It happens. But there is also a kind of hubris at work to imagine that the book would have had the same impact no matter who published it. The same manuscript published by five different publishers would have five different trajectories on its way into the world. It might have had a different title, would definitely have a different jacket, the editorial work would be different. And the marketing and publicity might have focussed on different medial. Even the time of year when the book came out would have been different and had an impact on the publication. But, yeah, I fucked up.

What bestseller would you have turned down?

12 Responses

  1. This is my favorite post so far and it gives me hope.

  2. joy luck club,

    rea

  3. Catcher in the rye

  4. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

  5. I have The Liar’s Club. That’s really interesting about a book’s treatment after the fact, and what might have been if in the hands of another publisher. I’d never thought of that.

    The rejection for me – Olive Kitteridge. Funny, b/c I really liked the movie. The book? Not so much.

  6. Oh, dear. So, so many.

    The Art of Fielding.
    The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.
    The Hobbit and all his spawn.
    Facebook.
    the iPhone.
    Inflatable Santa lawn ornaments.

    I’ve actually had this conversation with my wife, that I’ll never be rich because I would never imagine that anybody would spend fifty or a hundred bucks on an inflatable lawn ornament. I deeply misunderstand contemporary consumer culture.

    And I love that rea would have turned down Joy Luck Club, a book that I adored. It’s all PowerBall, isn’t it?

  7. The Bridges of Madison County!! And, I would do it again.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  8. Fifty Shades of Grey.

  9. The Help. I loved it.

  10. the lovely bones, as many editors did

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