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
- A Washington county that went for Trump is shaken as immigrant neighbors start disappearing VIEW
- Seattle hits record high for income inequality, now rivals San Francisco
- Seahawks' Kam Chancellor likely out for season, report says, but Pete Carroll says nothing official yet WATCH
- Anthony Bourdain brought 'Parts Unknown' to Seattle — here's where he ate
- Kickoff time, TV info announced for 110th Apple Cup
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