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Blind Submission: A Novel Hardcover – November 7, 2006
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
Memoirist Ginsberg (Waiting; Raising Blaze) gracefully transitions into fiction with a fresh twist on the aggrieved publishing assistant. Angel Robinson is a voracious reader excited to land a job at the prestigious Lucy Fiamma Literary Agency in San Francisco, but she quickly finds herself overwhelmed in the maelstrom of an office. Angel, forever lugging manuscripts home, discovers she has a knack for turning mediocre manuscripts into moneymakers, a talent Lucy handsomely capitalizes on. When an anonymous submission set in a Bay Area literary agency is e-mailed in, Angel begins hammering it into salable shape. At first, the parallels between the manuscript and her life are innocuous enough, but as subsequent chapters appear in her inbox and she corresponds via e-mail with the author (coyly called "G. A. Novelist"), the story begins to reveal intimate details about Angel's life and to contain thinly veiled threats. Could her foundering writer boyfriend be the culprit? A jealous co-worker? Another of Lucy's clients? A game of e-mail cat and mouse unfolds as Angel continues working on the manuscript and her dragon-lady boss angles to sell it. Though not nail-bitingly suspenseful, the plot is twisty enough to keep readers guessing to the end. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Ginsberg has delighted readers with her candor and humor in three popular memoirs, including Raising Blaze (2002). She now brings her wit and pinpoint psychology to fiction in a gleefully caustic tale that is not so much a whodunit as a who-wrote-it. Ginsberg's heat-seeking novel tracks the high-anxiety misadventures of Angel Montgomery, a book lover who becomes a badgered assistant to an extravagantly cruel, histrionic, and elaborately attired literary agent, Lucy Fiamamma. Yes, this is the book-world version of The Devil Wears Prada (2003), albeit more artful. Blind submissions are manuscripts sent in cold to the agency, while Lucy's staff practices a stunned compliance one might describe as blind submission. Angel is learning to hold steady under Lucy's onslaughts, but she is growing alarmed over the creepy parallels between her life and Blind Submission, an anonymously authored mystery set in a literary agency and sent to her in e-mailed installments. Is the author her wannabe writer boyfriend? Her angry, possibly deranged coworker? An affectionate skewering of the ludicrous side of the book business and a claws-out send-up of the perversities of power, Ginsberg's blithe blend of mystery, romance, and satire is smart, classy, and fun. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Ginsberg's Blind Submission is not a perfect book. There are places where credibility is seriously in question. I doubted, for example, that an agent, however excellent, would be REWRITING rather than editing a book. OK, so I get it that Angel, the main character, keeps saying she has no wish to be a writer and yet can turn a book around, in essence, reconstructing it as well as doing a rewrite. A sort of uncelebrated ghost writer. Yeah, I get the satire, enjoyed it immensely. I don't want to give away too much of the book here and this is not a naysaying review. Not at all.
My biggest criticism was that I was forced to read parts of the novel within the novel. Bad stuff. When it was good-bad, it made me laugh. But when it was bad-bad, I cringed.
I think Ginsberg's strength is her ability to make the reader feel real emotion, empathize with what the character is going through. That takes talent. She can tell a story. The dinner party scene at the boss lady, Lucy's house was very well done, down to the shady goings-on between boss and employee's boyfriend and the crisp interchange between characters.
Really, a fun read!
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