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Friday, September 02, 2005

Reviewers Reviewed

Writing about the brouhaha over the recent Washington Post review of John Irving's Until I Find You by Marianne Wiggins, Nicholas Klee has this to say in his New Statesman column:

"I have just turned down the opportunity to review a book by an acquaintance. If I had expressed reservations, he would have interpreted the review as an unfriendly, even hostile, gesture - because the friendly thing to do, if I did not like the book, would have been to avoid the commission. Another personal example: I once met the novelist Joseph O'Connor, who, to my mortification, quoted to me a rather pompous sentence I had once written about him ('He will write better books, I am sure'). Later, I got a commission to review his terrific novel The Salesman; the enthusiasm of my piece was not unrelated to the relief of being able to make up for my previous sniffiness. Both reviews were fair, I still think, but the process was messier than it should have been."

2 Comments:

  • Makes you think the Economist's policy of not naming reviewers/contriubutors isn't all that bad.

    By Anonymous Karthik, at 7:48 AM  

  • Yes, anonymity has its advantages :)

    By Blogger PrufrockTwo, at 7:20 PM  

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