I adore my agent. He's one of the wisest and nicest men I've ever met in my life and I trust him completely. Still, I was nonplussed. Why shouldn't my book start with the point of view of a woman in her fifties?
Listen to any conservative talk show host and they'll regularly remind their audience that the Republicans are the party of ideas and that their books consistently top the best-seller charts. But for some undiagnosed reason they've managed to win only two of the past six presidential elections.
What is it like to finish a novel? The first time you do it, you feel utter euphoria, and you should. Unfortunately, what follows isn't always instant acceptance by an agent, an editor, or even your beta readers and friends.
I've gained a new appreciation for lowbrow in middle age. I'm still enough of a snob to gravitate toward "brilliant" lowbrow as opposed to "despicable" in New York magazine's approval matrix, but give me one more decade. My tastes should be off the chart.
Why are 90% of the books reviewed by the New York Times Book Review from white authors? What's going on behind the scenes to create such an unrepresentative body of reviews for an increasingly diverse nation of consumers?
Where is the recognition that a "book of raunch," rather than reflecting a mature and vibrant culture, is symptomatic of one in steep, full-on decline, drunk on its power and narcissism (including Baker's pet vice, sexual titillation)?