India Uncut

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Reject maal, Booker maal

The Sunday Times reports:
They can’t judge a book without its cover. Publishers and agents have rejected two Booker prize-winning novels submitted as works by aspiring authors.

One of the books considered unworthy by the publishing industry was by VS Naipaul, one of Britain’s greatest living writers, who won the Nobel prize for literature.

The exercise by The Sunday Times draws attention to concerns that the industry has become incapable of spotting genuine literary talent.

Typed manuscripts of the opening chapters of Naipaul’s In a Free State and a second novel, Holiday, by Stanley Middleton, were sent to 20 publishers and agents. [...] Of the 21 replies, all but one were rejections. [Links inserted by me.]
I've always believed that if you write a good book, it'll find its way in the world somehow. Is that a naive perspective? I don't know. But I hope I find out someday.

(Link via email from Nikhil Pahwa.)
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