Monday, April 9, 2007
If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably part of the demographic that doesn’t really believe the sky is falling reports on how nobody reads these days. You’re probably in a book club, have friends who read, and always seem to see lots of people during your weekly trips to the library or bookstore. But some article or survey seems to come out every few months talking about the end of the book. It is this scenario that Kevin Smokler addresses in this essay collection he edited. There are 24 essays with young writers like Neal Pollock and Meghan Daum talking about why they still write despite these dire predictions. In actuality, the essays are much broader and more varied than that and talk about everything from the current state of MFA programs to author collaboration to writer jealousy. I found most of the essays entertaining, jotted down a few authors to watch out for, and was encouraged by the various ways that authors are trying to get their work out there, from blogs to cooperatives like the Dave Eggers/McSweeney’s groups. There is also a nice appendix in the back with lots of book resources for both writers and readers.