Dear Universe (and especially the fine people at Feiwel&Friends and Henry Holt&Co publishing):
In a year that has been exceptionally filled with disappointment and not getting what I want, I make this plea, a true cri de coeur:
I want, I cryingly want, ARCs of The girl who fell beneath fairyland & led the revels there by Catherynne M. Valente and/or Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride.
I loved the first book in each series, by each of these women who are fantastic storytellers, clever and witty word-players, and wonderful writers. I taught the first Fairyland book to my Introduction to literature classes, and they really liked it. I have every intention of teaching Hold Me Closer, Necromancer when I next get an opportunity. On my recommendation, a friend of mine read it and included it in her syllabus for The Gothic Imagination.
I do not have a megaphone or a large, well-attended platform from which to speak, but I do what I can to introduce as many people as possible to the books I really love - which include Valente's and McBride's.
I expect to have rather a grind of it this autumn, for a number of reasons, many having to do with the year filled with disappointment and not getting what I want. i understand these things happen to everyone, but they have been happening to me at a rather rapid rate in the last few years.
I am looking forward to the publication of both Valente's and McBride's books this fall (along with Lemony Snicket's newest!). Reading these books will be a very bright sunny spot in an overcast semester. And yet - I am seriously broke. I will be earning half of what I made last year, and that was below the poverty line. I make use of the library like a fiend, but these books I anticipate having to fight for - or rather, wait for. And being left out of the conversations, the blog posts, the interviews and articles (to protect myself from even the tiniest of spoilers) - well, that makes me deeply sad. It makes it harder for me to do my job of being informed, well-read, and engaged in my field (children's and YA literature).
I am trying to finish my dissertation this fall. It will be a slog. I am teaching more students for less money. I am having to take out more student loans than I have had to in quite a few years. None of this makes me special, of course; it just makes me unhappy (and broke). But books! oh books! Book people know how comforting and joyous new books are, especially ones by beloved authors or in beloved series. Reading a great new book is a relief of the spirit, the heart, and the mind. Reading is not just what I do for pleasure or fun; it is also my job. My vocation, so to speak.
Thus the desire for ARCs.
Thus this pleading, probably desperate and pitiful, open letter.
I am willing to cast aside my pride and dignity in the cause of these books.