I come across this article by one of my favourite authors, Kate Atkinson, which she wrote in response to a review of her latest novel by the American novelist Jonathan Dee in the New Yorker.
You can read the full article for yourself by following the the link below, but as I was reading, I was initially incensed on her behalf by Dee describing her as ‘matronly’. I mean, how dare he? (Note that Ms Atkinson is a contemporary of mine, even down to having grown up in the same city, not that we knew each other).
In his review, Dee makes much of a comparison with the work of Rachel Cusk, who is an exponent of “autofiction” (a form of fictionalised autobiography). There’s a further link in the main article to a piece about this form of expression, which is apparently gaining in popularity. It’s not something I’d care to explore; writing from the imagination seems to me to be the whole point of novel writing.
But back to the point about authors reviewing authors. Reviews are important, and I’m very grateful for the lovely reviews I’ve received on my published work so far. I believe that we should try to support each other and if we really don’t like a book, maybe just keep our opinions private.
Some food for thought here. What’s your view?
Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd
Kate Atkinson calls authors reviewing their peers a ‘callous art’
British novelist who recently published latest book “Transcription” says she tries not to read bad reviews
The literary world is packed with novelists reviewing the books of their colleagues but it is not something Kate Atkinson would do, calling it a “callous art”.