le plus loin le plus serré

le plus loin le plus serré
mourning art

in memoriam

"yet I tell you, from the sad knowledge of my older experience, that to every one of you a day will most likely come when sunshine, hope, presents and pleasure will be worth nothing to you in comparison with the unattainable gift of your mother's kiss." (Christina Rossetti, "Speaking Likenesses," 1873)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Open letter to the Universe, especially feiwel & friends and henry holt & co

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.

most sincerely,


No comments: