Evelyn’s Blog for August 2 – “Critics – for Better or Worse”

I hope you read my last blog (with the photo of the pug): “THE NEW YORKER REJECTS ITSELF; A QUASI-SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS OF SLUSH PILES”. Now I have a treat for you: the perfect follow-up in my own life— a “beaut” of an example of critics at their worst and best.

As you already know, I’m readying my newest novel, my second Jewish novel, for publication, “AN INCIDENT IN THE FAMILY”. In 1925, an uncle marries his niece (an Avunculate Marriage). They have 2 children, the first normal, the second vastly retarded. In 1935, during the Great Depression, the father takes the now 6-year-old retarded child in the car with him. The garage door is closed. He starts the engine.  (56,000 words – a generational literary novel based on a true story)

I wanted to test the waters, so I had sent an opening excerpt of INCIDENT to a small publisher of Jewish novels, Fig Tree, whose editor wrote: “Not promising.” (After my surprise, I thought: Well, she doesn’t know any better.)

I had forgotten that I also had sent this same excerpt to a much more significant Jewish site: JewishFiction.net — a powerhouse with a prestigious Advisory Council and a formidable panel of seven highly-credentialed reviewers for each entry. I just received their response: “A fine excerpt that we wish to publish.” I signed the contract.

My husband Marv’s mother used to say, “Always consider the source.”

In addition, I always keep in mind what Jonathan Franzen (author of “THE CORRECTIONS” – National Book Award 2001) wrote to me: “If it’s not fun, then the hell with it.” Oh, it’s so much fun!

By the way, take a look at my Amazon/Author page. You’ll see my whole enchilada.