It's 3:30 in the morning . Usually, I'm curled up in bed and dreaming about literary greatness but right now I'm awake. (And curled up in my bed with my laptop!)
Good news is: Justin has returned home for two weeks from Afghanistan!
Bad news is: He has jet lag! Which means I tend to wake up when he does!
Haha. That isn't exactly funny but it's 3AM. Everything seems pretty hilarious to me this early in the morning.
Anyway, have you guys read this piece in the Huffington Post about "The 15 Most Overrated American Contemporary Writers"? Good Lord! My jaw seriously dropped open when I read it. In the article, a literary fiction author blasts American writers who he finds utterly and wholly undeserving of their acclaim. Yep, such writers include:
Jhumpa Lahiri (What?! She completely deserves her Pulitzer!)
Junot Diaz (And he has a Pulitzer too!)
Billy Collins (One of my most beloved poets!)
And the kicker:
Amy Tan (Chinese-American author of "The Joy Luck Club")
Amy Tan writes to my soul. I really mean that. I read "The Joy Luck Club" in high school and it was the very first book that made me go, "Now, this, THIS, I can relate to." As much as I loved Scout Finch and Tess Durbeyfield and other literary heroines, I could only admire their stories at arms-length. But with Tan's book? Man. She got me. She nailed my life as a Chinese-American girl raised by Chinese-Chinese parents. Even now, nearly 15 years later, this book still speaks to me in ways that no others can.
So yeah. Me not happy with the author of the HuffPo article. I mean, literary criticism is one thing. It's quite an important thing too. But what this guy is doing isn't literary criticism. He's basically ripping apart his fellow authors, saying that they are "shtick peddlers" and have "no clue about the rhythm of language." At one point, I kid you not, he even calls out one writer as "perhaps our greatest example of mediocrity ascending to the very top."
Whoa, dude! Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Look, he passed the line between criticism and shit-throwing. As an author, it's okay to review books. (Although it may not be the best idea professionally. Burning bridges and all that.) But it is decidedly not okay to label another author as a "shtick peddler" or "dull craftswoman" or "court jester." That's unprofessional. It's rude. And it's kind of douche-y.
I'm interested to see how this all plays out. Will this writer receive any fallback from publishers over this article? Or is all PR good PR?
Either way, I think we can learn an important lesson here: Don't be a douche bag, yo!
And with that, I'm going back to sleep.