From my list on the writing life.
Who am I?
I have been a writer for more than twenty years and have favored pursuing “truth in fiction” rather than “money in formula.” As author Edward St. Aubyn quotes: “Money has value because it can be exchanged for something else. Art only has value because it can’t.” I find books about writers are closer to my lived experience and connect me intimately with both the characters and their author.
Shane's book list on the writing life
Why did Shane love this book?
A comedy that exposes “prize-based meritocracy” in the literary profession, where prizes lead to best-sellers, where sponsors influence outcomes to promote their own image instead of works of artistic merit, and where writers sell their souls, and bodies, for that elusive prize. The literary stereotypes are present: nymphomaniacal ingenues, insomniacal agonizers, paradoxical theorists, opportunistic editors, and self-published authors with money to burn – all weaving and bobbing around each other to gain personal advantage.
St. Aubyn presents this story in elegant prose, moving the plot brilliantly, while exposing the underbelly of the literary establishment, in which the result of all this finagling is mediocrity.