Ah, the writer's life ... fans swarming, brilliant phrases spilling from your mouth, tasty treats awaiting in the mini-bar (not to mention...
Ah, the writer’s life … fans swarming, brilliant phrases spilling from your mouth, tasty treats awaiting in the mini-bar (not to mention all those cute little bottles).
Don’t believe a word of it.
In “Mortification: Writers’ Stories of Their Public Shame” (Perennial, $12.95), editor Robin Robertson coaxes 70 authors into revealing the ugly secrets behind so-called writerly glory. Margaret Atwood shares tips on television appearances (“Never follow the Colostomy Association”). Carl Hiaasen advises paying attention to omens (“Any book event that begins with a near-death experience should be abandoned at once”). Poet Matthew Sweeney weighs the lisp-inducing hazards of reading highly sibilant verse just after you’ve been to the dentist to have a crown put in.
Other contributors include William Boyd, Margaret Drabble, Patrick McCabe, Rick Moody and a rather sly Julie Myerson on how to handle meeting critics who have trashed your books.
Most Read Stories
- For $750, Seattle’s newest apartment is the size of a parking space
- Light snowfall expected in Seattle tonight; Snohomish County could see more
- This video of Marshawn Lynch narrating the 'Planet Earth II' iguana chase wins the internet
- ‘A fairly messy situation’: 2-4 inches of snow could fall Thursday in Seattle area
- Former Seahawk Ricardo Lockette stirs anger at Garfield High assembly: ‘Men take the lead’
But the final word on writerly mortification should go to James Lasdun, who takes the opportunity to redefine the word itself: “Mortification: the default mode of anyone involved in writing or other forms of self- exhibition, deliberate or accidental.”
Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times book critic