Chabon. Obreht. Franzen. McCann. Egan. Brooks. Foer. Lethem. Eggers. Russo.
Possible hosts for Bravoâ€™s Americaâ€™s Next Top Novelist? Dream hires for the Iowa Writersâ€™ Workshop?
Nope â€” just the â€œMurdererâ€™s Rowâ€ of advance blurbers featured on the back of Nathan Englanderâ€™s new effort, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank. And what an effort it must be: â€œUtterly haunting. Like Faulkner [Russo] it tells the tangled truth of life [Chabon], and you can hear Englanderâ€™s heart thumping feverishly on every page [Eggers].â€
As I marvel at the work of Knopfâ€™s publicity department, I canâ€™t help but feel a little ill. And put off. Who cares? Shouldnâ€™t the back of a book just have a short summary? Isnâ€™t this undignified? But answering these questions responsibly demands more than the reflexive rage of an offended aesthete (Nobody cares! Yes! Yes!). It demands, I think, the level-headed perspective of a blurb-historianâ€¦