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November 22, 2006

Comments

Keith

The Scarlett Thomas link doesn't seem to go to an essay.

Sarah

Does now!

Ingrid (I.J.Parker)

I managed to reach the essay by Thomas. My reaction was mild astonishment. Since I have never ever found myself in the enviable position of being wined and dined by editors or of experiencing photo shoots, my obligations to my publishers are less constrictive. Since they care little, I mostly do what I want to do. There! I knew I could find something to be thankful for in the situation. :)

LeJeune

my agent had been trying to sell my book and the reasons for the rejections are just about the ones that you mention....too culty, explores the questions that Vollman, Powers, etc. explore, but, fuck, I'm a woman writer.

tod goldberg

I think Margaret Atwood fits the bill, at least in terms of some of her books. Writers like Amy Hempel come to mind, perhaps even Aimee Bender, though with both Amy and Aimee were dealing with short stories, same with Kelly Link. (And I think describing Vollman, Foster Wallace and Mitchell as cult writers is somewhat incorrect -- all three sell quite well. All a cult writer is, really, is someone selling below the midlist that people really respect, or who has fans who dress in black, like Steve Erickson, for example. Or, at one time, Chuck Palaniuk. I don't know how many books a year Steve sells, but I'd guess Palahniuk just sold that many yesterday in backlist of Fight Club alone.)

Mark Haskell Smith

I don't think you can intentionally go out and become a cult writer - unless you're writing some kind of ersatz sci-fi based on a home-brewed religion that appeals to celebrities. Cult status is a kind of literary street cred. I would second Tod's list (Kelly Link!) and add authors like Lisa Moore (ALLIGATOR) and M.J. Hyland (HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN) to the mix.

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