Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added)
is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.
--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Thanks, Daphne Lee: Ingledove surfacing

A full-fledged review that comes along five years after first publication is always surprising: to get such a thing is encouraging.

It also ought to be encouraging to readers: suggesting that there are books worth reading beyond the ones that publishers decide on for us. Is it still a mystery to many readers that publishers essentially decide what books we read by giving those books "a push," launching a book with the force of money and strong promotion?

As what is called "a mid-list writer," this idea used to bother me. I'm not really sure whether it's a good thing that it no longer does, yet I am glad that it does not.

I am also glad when a book bobs along and refuses to die. And I am grateful to the people who refuse to let it vanish.

* * *

From the end of Daphne Lee's review, "Vividly magical," in Malaysia's "most widely-read" newspaper, The Star:

This is a fantasy adventure and has some (not overly) violent and disturbing scenes. But it is by and large a quiet, magical book that glows with the beauty of its vividly imagined settings.

Ingledove herself is as lovely as her name – a kind, thoughtful girl who is brave not because she’s a born heroine, yearning for adventure and itching to do battle, but because she chooses to be so she can help those she loves.

5 comments:

  1. I haven't read this one of yours. I'll have to remedy that. Glad more readers will learn of its existence and read it, give it as a gift. I perhaps should give some of your books to my niece this Christmas. She might like them.

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  2. I think of all the books of yours I've read Ingledove was my favorite. Something about your perfect, haunting imagery. Or something.

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  3. Jarvenpa,

    Thanks. I tend to get the most comments for "Catherwood," but maybe that's because it managed to toddle along and sell more copies. Glad you liked that one.

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  4. I came across the name of this book because it is the name of my maternal grandmother, Ingledove. It's an unusual name to be sure. My grandmother was born in the late 1880's in rural Southwest Virginia, an area close to the setting of your book and settled by Scots Irish people.

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  5. I go through that area all the time on my way to Cullowhee, North Carolina, where I went to high school and where my mother still lives. And I certainly looked at a lot of last names from the region--many the names of teens from "Little Canada," who were Scots-Irish in descent and attended my little high school.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.