Wednesday, October 08, 2008

show a little leg, dammit!

Margaret Drabble thinks her publisher is out to dumb her down.
She thinks she knows why,
'There is also... anxiety over the whole role of prizes in this. We have more prizes than ever before. Who are they really for? Are they to celebrate the writer and the work or is this another arm of marketing in the books trade? Looking at publishing ... it has been saturated with the notion of the creation of celebrity as a marketing opportunity ... There has to be a box, a place they can put you. I just find it annoying but it doesn't stop me from writing exactly what I wish to write."
Writers aren't celebrities and those who play in that pool for too long inevitably destroy themselves.
And a word about prizes. I'm of two minds on this, because they are a marketing tool, and unfortunately it's pretty necessary.
The Giller list was announced yesterday

Joseph Boyden- Through Black Spruce
Anthony De Sa- Barnacle Love
Marina Endicott- Good to A Fault
Rawi Hage- Cockroach
Mary Swan-The Boys in the Trees

I've read three of the five and my money is on Marina Endicott. Good to a Fault is an assured and smartly written novel, it has a lot of pull in the plot and the new publisher Freehand Books, makes an attractive package.
Now, since I never get these things right, it'll go to Boyden or Rawi Hage.
Joseph Boyden was in town last night with Andrew Pyper, both gentlemen were in good spirits, read very damn well and stayed late.
Good job all around, folks.

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