I recently read “Man of Mystery” by Joan Acocella in The Critics section of last week’s New Yorker about Steig Larsson and I had a satisfied laugh out loud moment several paragraphs into the piece.
“Larsson submitted the manuscript to Piratförlag, a publishing house with a strong line of criminal novels. The editors there never opened the package. (They do not read manuscripts from first-time authors.) Today one almost pities them.”
Really? I don’t pity them. I hope they are kicking themselves. These self-important literary agents and publishers pass on work without even a glance…maybe they should rethink their strategies. I’m not saying that Larsson’s novels are well written, they have their problems, this is more a gripe about the elitist behavior of literary agencies and publishing houses of the world in general. I am sick of hearing that the reason why the slush pile is ignored or tossed to a freshman intern is because it rarely produces quality work. Most publishers are interested in the biggest payout–not the writing. Who are they kidding? If Teresa Giudice from Bravo‘s reality show hit Real Housewives of New Jersey can make it on the NY Times Bestseller list I doubt anyone involved with that project is concerned with quality.
All I’m saying is don’t slash the slush.