HOW A BOOK IS BORN

by Valerie on November 1, 2011

I just read HOW A BOOK IS BORN by Keith Gessen which is an article in VANITY FAIR magazine about the long road to publication of the book THE ART OF FIELDING by Chad Harbach. It’s also about the inner workings of the publishing industry and the various ways it is changing and yet remaining the same as it will always be an industry in which a good book read by as many people as possible is all that really matters. But what moved me the most is the account of how this book took so very long to write and then was rejected by dozens of agents before one clear-eyed young agent saw the great merit in the book and spun gold out of it. I could read an article like this every day of my life, because as many times as we’ve all heard the tales of writers who just don’t give up, even when everyone around them tells them to, and then go on to publishing success, it never gets old.  Chad Harbach wrote this book over the course of ten long years, years in which he had very little money and even less encouragement. But he kept writing. And then, he brought his baby out into the world, only for esteemed agents to tell him it wasn’t really any good, wasn’t for them, wasn’t up to par. Rejection is hard, painful stuff for writers, so when he then goes on to land a great agent and sell the book for gobs of money in an auction, it’s a true victory. And even if it’s not my victory, it gives me inspiration and strength.

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