Saturday, May 01, 2004

I am reading a book by a woman named Lucinda Rosenfeld, and if I cover up the "Lucinda" part and the title of her novel I can envision it is by me. Rosenfeld, while a common name in any Jewish neighborhood in New York, is not one you see often on the cover of novels terribly often. Name a famous novelist named Rosenfeld! I dare you. Lucinda (no relation that I know of) is near my age, a few years older, but is one of these sort of savvy manhattanites--or Brooklynites, I guess--who speaks the language of fashion, shopping and pop culture in a way that boggles me. Am I some sort of country girl who doesn't know she is? A backwoods child, a hippie leftover? I know just enough about enough subjects to feel as though I can hold a meaningful conversation with most people I know. But I'm neither academic nor hipster socialite. I don't know who's who...I don't understand the fascination with designer fashions. I shop at consignment stores for chrissakes! These kinds of books that touch on those things, like "The Devil Wears Prada" or "Bergdorf Blondes" sell so well. It's part of that same level of celebrity-stupor that we suffer from in this country. It irritates me.

I mean, I'm no saint when it comes to what fascinates me. I like my books literate but plot-oriented, my television to be mind-numbing, but tender-hearted, my conversations to be light but lean toward philosophizing. Does that make sense? I have been enjoying fiction with a historical bent. By which I do not mean historical fiction, per se. I have greatly enjoyed reading Great Expectations, surprised to find out how much I really GET what Dickens was trying to do...or so I believe. I'm loving "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides and I gobbled up "The Crimson Petal and the White." And now I'm rambling.

I'm just staving off thinking about the fact that my agent is submitting my novel next week. The process begins again. YOu weren't here for the first round, when my novel Self-Serve bored a handful of publishers to death. Actually Harper Collins said "almost, maybe" and three others gave a variety of reasons for their passing, and FOUR whole publishers couldn't even get it together to respond to us. Pocket books inquired about it's availability and then never got back to us. How hard it is to reject someone? I mean, I'd come to count, at least, on rejections...

Not anymore.



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