Friday, September 14, 2007

Thank You for Not Reading by Dubravka Ugresic

In Thank You for Not Reading Dubravka Ugresic presents a collection of insightful, cutting essays about writers, readers, exile, form, and the state of the publishing world. She discusses agents and the role of the book proposal, foreign writers (she's Croatian), good writing, bad writing, and the concept of literature (just to name a few).

I found myself laughing out loud (often in inappropriate settings) at her observations about characters and writers, gender and location, successful novels as gossip. The copy I read (from the library--but I may have to buy my own) is tabbed as though I could do something with her ideas, as though she could support a paper I have yet to write. (I do wish I had read this book before/during grad school.) Mostly it's memorable language or analogies I've marked, but there are too many--I'll never write them all down, and so all my tabbing has been for naught. The book's already overdue.

I recommend that you don't sit down to read this cover to cover. Read a few essays and let them settle before going on to the next few. Maybe read a novel as you're making your way through Thank You for Not Reading. I started losing focus with the last essays, probably the result of having read nothing else for weeks and the more academic style (and length), but I do highly recommend this book to anyone who loves reading and/or is especially interested in the publishing field. I'll be buying my own copy, and I'll return this one to the library now.

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