Boris Kachka‘s piece in this week’s New York Magazine has some fun with the New York Times Book Review’s recent mini-trend of putting debut novels on the cover of its publication (most recently, Joshua Ferris‘s THEN WE CAME TO THE END.) Going back deep into the Chip McGrath years for how various newbie novelists like Zadie Smith, Jonathan Safran Foer, Bruce Robinson and Monica Ali are faring today does show that the NYTBR has a reasonably good eye for picking talent (or parroting pre-pub buzz.) But did we really need Sam Tanenhaus saying “if you can put a paperback original first novel on the cover, that is like orgasm time for us.” Wow, not only is the Book Review growing increasingly irrelevant, it’s going straight into TMI territory…
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