Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Guppies & Publishers, etc.

And now I have a nice fat box with twenty copies of Ingledove. It's just as lovely en masse as it was solo. Renato Alarcao, the illustrator, has received his copies as well and is pleased. He lives on the 17th floor (or thereabouts) of an apartment house in Rio de Janeiro with his wife and the cat that flew, then fell. He has many clever and lovely illustrations in another FSG book, Red Ridin' in the Hood: And Other Cuentos.

I was talking to one of our two Cooperstown booksellers today. One is in a shop divided between books and jewelry; the other has a space split between books and baseball souvenirs. The jeweler-bookseller told me several mildly curious things: I am the only person in the history of the store to ask for bookplates; the tourists who come to Cooperstown do not know what bookplates are; those same tourists do not know how to figure out where the price is on a book. This does suggest that our tourists are not entirely familiar with books.

The guppies in my husband's office gave birth. This led him to meditate on the nature of publishers. Guppies have many babies. Guppies do not take care of their babies. Guppies eat their babies. Only a very few survive...

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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.