Monday, May 16, 2005


It only took forty days, and endless columns about themselves, but the powers that be over at the Lit-Blog Coop have offered up their first read-this book. (Drum roll, please.)

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson.

Now, I'm a little slow, and kinda confused, so maybe one of you nice people will explain this to me. We're supposed to be getting the skinny on struggling writers, books and presses from the LBC, correct?

Um, how is Kate Atkinson struggling, exactly? Did she like blow all her Whitbread prize money?

Update: To be fair and balanced -- quit laughing -- and present the other side's perspective, one of the LBC folks has offered justification for the pick. Here are his top two reasons:

"1. Kate Atkinson has not received a smidgen of coverage in the New York Reveiw (sic) of Books. 2. While Salon selected CASE HISTORIES for its Best Books of 2004, it never thought to review the book separately."

Right. Please adjust your definition of "struggling" accordingly.


  1. She won that prize nine or ten years ago, yet, in spite of that, she still isn't that well known. I recommended her book to several online friends last year and none of them heard of her.

    But I agree with you, though. I thought they would go for less ... *much lesser* known authors. :)

  2. Come now, if they chose obscure writers no one has ever heard of, how would they maintain their image as literary bloggers?

    To obtain status as a literary blogger, you have to have an opinion about every book everyone else is reading. That way, literary wannabes are going to start looking up at you, as someone whose opinion they can steal for use at the next dinner party. This status is true literary stardom, and one only a few godlike creatures can hope ever to attain!

    They're not going to spoil it by reading stuff people aren't already interested in.

  3. Anonymous11:44 AM

    To be serious for a minute, I'm actually disappointed. I was really going to give the Lit-Blog recs a shot, not just because I like La Weinman -- well, yeah, mainly because I like Sarah -- but I also like to do what I can to help out struggling writers. Even the ones with lit cooties.

    This first rec just screams for me not to waste my money.

  4. Anonymous12:51 PM

    The furious tennis match of comments that followed the announcement were fun to read. Gave me a good chuckle anyway.

  5. Anonymous3:17 PM

    Don't know how else to get hold of you--Up now on my blog Ed Gorman and Friends is an article by the highly esteemed Richard S. Wheeler dealing with his many attempts to do something different with genre fiction but finding that readers generally want same old same old at least in the western genre, But I think his words apply to ALL genres and to all of us who (try paraphrase Raymond Chandler) try to do something different within the confines of genre. Ed Gorman Your comments get shrewder all the time.


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