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Archives: June 2005

The Confessional Impulse

Over at LustyLady, Rachel Kramer Bussel’s been collecting examples of Confession Of … titles. Some of her favorites:

Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman by Jim Lebenthal (April 12, 2006)

Confessions of a Recruiting Director: A Top Recruitor Reveals Why He Said Not To Thousands of Candidates – And How You Get the Yes by Brad Karsh (April 2006)

Confessions of a Teen Nanny and Confessions of a Teen Nanny #2: Rich Girls by Victoria Ashton (March 2006)

PostSecret: Anonymous Confessions of Ordinary Lives (Vintage) by Frank Warren (Compiler) (February 14, 2006)

Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst: A True Story of Inside Information and Corruption in the Stock Market by Daniel Reingold, Jennifer Reingold (February 1, 2006)

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins (December 27, 2005)

Confessions of a Lonely Soul by Harold L. Turley (December 1, 2005)

Confessions of a Male Nurse by Richard S. Ferri (December 2005)

Confessions Of A Berlitz-tape Chicana by Demetria Martinez (November 30, 2005)

Confessions: Admissions of Sexual Guilt by Sage Vivant, et al (November 9, 2005)

True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet by Lola Douglas (November 3, 2005)

Two-Faced: Confessions of a Soap Opera Make-Up Artist by Timothy Alan (November 1, 2005)

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It’s All Relative

Straight from PW, this charming bit of reassurance:

With 25% of Americans enrolled in HMOs, a 2002 Gallup survey ranked HMO manager as the second most untrustworthy occupation, just behind car dealers. And 40 million Americans have no health insurance at all. In short, the general public feels neglected by doctors and wary of profit-hungry insurance companies; of late, even the federal government has let them down. They should feel a little better, however, with how book publishers are treating them.

Mmm, much.

You’ve Got “Issues”

Last week, GC detailed the mounting resentment among parents towards “issues”-based YA fiction. This week, those “issues” get more interesting, thanks to the Wall Street Journal‘s contribution to the anti-YA genre of journalism:

One publisher is venturing beyond its titles on dragons and bunnies with “Claiming Georgia Tate,” about a 12-year-old girl whose father pressures her into a sexual relationship and makes her dress like a prostitute. In “Looking for Alaska,” prep-school students watch pornography and pass the time binge-drinking. Coming this fall is “Teach Me,” in which a male high-school teacher has sex with a student.

And kids seem to be responding.

Yeah, I bet they are. Or, as a college roommate of mine liked to say, “Your issues get tissues.”

Do You Believe in Magic / In a Private’s Heart …

If the publishers of author J.K. Rowling’s books have a challenge beyond how to spend the Harry Potter windfall, it is in trying to keep the series compelling for original readers who were 10 to 12 years old when Harry was introduced in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone but who are now heading off to college, jobs or even the war in Iraq.

Actually, last we checked, the army’s wishlist ranked Harry Potter above Kevlar.

Related Reading:
-Interest Lost in Harry Potter? (CanMag)
-New ‘Harry’ Book Set to Work Magic (NYDN)
-Things You Can Learn About the Plot of the Next Harry Potter Book Just by Looking at the Cover Art (McSweeney’s)

In Retrospect, Stella Never Really Did Get Her Groove Back

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Terry McMillan has filed for divorce from the man who inspired the 1996 novel How Stella Got Her Groove Back, which chronicled the romantic adventures of a 40-something woman who falls for a guy half her age.

In papers filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court, McMillan, 53, says she decided to end her 6 1/2-year marriage to Jonathan Plummer, 30, after learning he is gay.

The revelation led her to conclude Plummer married only to get his U.S. citizenship, she said. McMillan met Plummer at a Jamaican resort a decade ago.

What Kind of Promise is That?

“New publishing house promises to unlock the web’s creative talent!”

2 notes for this new publishing house:
1. If there’s no lock, there’s no unlocking.
2. But if “the web’s creative talent” has been locked away, it might be for a reason.

Unnerving Irving

Scholastic journals remind us of the most popular theorietical approaches available when interpreting literature. Likewise, newspaper profiles remind us of the two most popular approaches when discussing literature’s authors — the Sally Jessy Raphael, and the Montel Williams.

Until I Find You (Random House, July) is [John Irving's] Big Book, an attempt to resolve the great themes of his life and work. Mr. Irving’s … novels are full of male characters with strong mothers and absent fathers. Born John Wallace Blunt Jr., Mr. Irving never knew his father and took his stepfather’s name.

The new novel also has a deeper personal echo. It deals fictionally with a secret that Mr. Irving has carried around for years: in 1953, when he was 11, an older woman sexually abused him. [cont'd >]

Foetry for the French

cancan.jpgLike a virginal CanCan girl, France’s most prestigious book prizes have been deemed “wide open to corruption.”

De-Kleining

As unpopular as I expect Ed Klein to be these days, I’ll still admit surprise at the blog-like (aka, almost unprofessional) moments of snark in Salon‘s profile of the one-time NYT Mag editor.

One quick example to show you what I mean:

“I love being a reporter,” Klein told me over the phone. “That is the most fun thing in life.”

Maybe. But another fun thing is making money.

Elsewhere in the MSM: the WSJ‘s Peggy Noonan indulges in a more passive-aggressive approach to The Truth ABout Hillary. “Here is something good about the book,” Noonan asserts. “Klein treats Hillary as if she were a man.”

Remember the stories that said Dan Quayle was a cocaine salesman? That George W. Bush was a coke-sniffing, girl-chasing lush? That John F. Kennedy was a coke-sniffing, girl-chasing cynic? That Lyndon B. Johnson had a roving eye and held meetings with aides as he sat on the toilet? This is hard-guy politics: Run for office and we’ll throw everything we can that will stick and things that won’t stick too. Mr. Klein’s book is in this tradition. It treats Hillary as she has claimed she wants to be treated: not as a special case but like everyone else; not as a minority, not as a woman.

Right. Ra ra, equality. Next up on the feminist agenda: getting more women on Death Row.

Filed Under: An Unfortunate Last Name Made More So

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