Wednesday, July 19, 2006


The publication date of the Formerly SuperSecretDoubleProbation Project approacheth, and the first review is in. It is from Publisher's Weekly. Since I know you are all busy standing in front of your mailboxes waiting for your subscription edition to arrive, I shall reprint it here. The parts mentioning me or my essay are in bold type:

This delightful literary anthology of memoir-style essays by American writers under 30 is the fruit of an Internet contest organized by Jillian Kellogg and Matthew Quint, editorial assistants at Random House. Its acutely self-aware observers and philosophers inhabit experience intensely. Many write about work, be it night shifts at Wendy's, serving the U.S. military in Kuwait or playing with infuriating fellow band members in New York City. Whether admitting they are only just beginning to see their own parents as people or struggling to balance graduate study and parenthood, the essayists blend morbid irony and idealism. Many write of a dawning realization of mortality: Jennifer Glaser writes with a perfectly judged tone about being in love and losing a boyfriend to leukemia. Others attempt to define their generation and the trends that dominate it: John Fischer, who works for a company that monitors changing consumer attitudes, savagely contemplates high-tech capitalist consumer culture, while Theodora Stites, considering her obsession with Friendster and MySpace, confesses, "I am trying desperately be a celebrity in the network of my own digital world." This highly readable collection of voices is more assured and memorable than one might have expected from such a venture. 34 illus. (Sept. 5)

Whither the bold type?


This is, I am sure you all agree, a horrible, horrible review, for nowhere does it mention me. Why did the reviewer not quote my essay? No, he has to mention the perfectly judged one (which, of course, it is.) Why ignore the one essay about refusing to sit in a chair a man has just vacated because the author fears she will become impregnated? It is art of the highest caliber!

But suppose the reviewer did mention me. It would likely be something along the lines of, "Its acutely self-aware observers and philosophers inhabit experience intensely, except for Mary Beth Ellis, who sucks."

I'm not in the Amazon sales copy found on the back of the book, either. Oh, this is most lowering. Mentioning combat veterans instead of meeeeeeeeee! This puts a cog in my Rich Famous Author plan, it really does, and people ought to get their priorities straight. Screw you, Publisher's Weekly.

huff at:


patty m. said...

I'm glad you made the "inhabit experience intensely" joke so we, your faithful readers, don't have to. Considering that the review reads like it was written by a first-year grad student in the field of Self Important Soliloquizing, you should feel flattered that your pithy snark wasn't singled out for praise. We love you, and that's all that matters (as long as we all shell out for the book)...

Ruby Rose said...

Yeah - what Patty said.

Anyone who puts "acutely" and "intensely" in the same sentence deserves our withering scorn ANYWAY.

Keep writing mb - if I check and there's not a post on this blog, it takes some of the shine off my day. (Although I do visit the archives on such days).

In my own facile way I'm trying to say: there's an eager and willing audience for what you have to say, please keep on saying it.

Even when you become a Rich and Famous Author and hit your 17-book slump.


mike the longterm reader said...

If it's any consolation, I intend to skip straight to your story.

AnnaPink said...

I love you MB. LOVE. YOU.

And I'm certain you SHALL be acutely rich and intensely famous someday! Our devious plan to foist your talent on the world is slowly coming to fruition.

HelloBettyLou said...

Oh, MB, it's a great review. And the only reason they didn't mention you is that words cannot adequately describe your fabulousness.

red pill junkie said...

"...essayists blend morbid irony and idealism"

THERE! The dumbass only forgot to write your name, but there it is! :-)

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