Wednesday, February 18

Bitter, Resentful Unpublished Author Dept: Most Annoying "Deal" in Today's Lunch Weekly

As a bitter, resentful unpublished author of a freakin' hilarious book about my two-year romp through Tokyo (visit the website!) that my agent was unable to sell because publishers are somehow convinced that the topic just isn't interesting enough (and because David Sedaris visited Tokyo recently and included a whole chapter about it in his latest book, so obviously the subject has been covered exhaustively), I'm well placed to offer my dismissive opinion on the latest deals reported on Publisher's Lunch's Lunch Weekly book deal roundup.

One particularly irritating deal reported in this morning's Lunch made me want to eat my own hand off:

Tao Lin's SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL, a novella about a young writer who is caught shoplifting from an American Apparel store, to Dennis Johnson of Melville House, in a nice deal, for publication in Fall 2009.

Wow. That. Sounds. Fascinating. Now, obviously it's dangerous to judge a book on title and descriptive blurb alone, and I certainly wish Tao Lin all the best (even though I don't, really) but JESUS CHRIST, TAO LIN, COULDN'T YOU HAVE SPENT MORE THAN FIVE FREAKIN' MINUTES THINKING OF A TITLE?!


Publisher's Lunch really upset me today.

Here's how the next year will unfold: I'll slave away on my next book, which will ultimately not sell because its title isn't banal enough (the manuscript will later sell for $1.35 on eBay, after I'm dead); meanwhile, Tao Lin will win the Booker Prize for his next novel, Shopping at Key Foods While Consulting My Grocery List.