Thursday, August 30, 2007

Old Gossip

Slunch, the publishing gossip site I just learned about on GalleyCat, takes aim at my former employer Publishers Weekly in two posts: "What the hell pw?" and "An open letter to pw." The latter asks:
do I not send you tons of books each year? Are they not good enough?
Which reminds me of a possibly apocryphal tale that was whispered over the cubie walls at PW's old (then new) digs on 17th Street some 20 years ago.

There was a certain editor--I'll call her "K"-- whose cubicle was so crammed with tottering towers of books and manuscripts that no one except herself dared enter. She would also completely rewrite my reviews (others' too, I'm sure) for no other I reason, I supposed, than to make them hers. I got so tired of this that I stopped reviewing for her. The pay was low (PW is paying LESS now for reviews than I was getting in 1989!) and there are no bylines, so the major satisfaction was seeing one's words in print. So what was the point, I figured, of struggling to find the exact bons mots to string together if they're all going to be changed anyway?

K also had a personality. Someone allegedly overheard her speaking to an editor, who had apparently phoned to complain about lack of review attention in K's section:
"Well," she snapped, "if you published better books, we wouldn't be having this conversation, would we?"

1 comment:

submit to slunch said...

Thanks for mentioning Slunch. We've added a link to your site.

do tell,
the editor