The Dream Antilles
The Dream Antilles is a self published novel. That means that to some it lacks cache. That also means that it's hard to get it reviewed. And it's hard to get on the interview shows. And it's hard to get Oprah to read it, let alone recommend it. The thought behind this is that this novel cannot be any good as literature because if it were, well then, it wouldn't be self published, now would it? I don't know if this view made sense fifty years ago, but I'm sure it doesn't now.
Today's New York Times reports:
Rejected by the Publishers
By LAWRENCE VAN GELDER
Submitted to 20 publishers and agents, the typed manuscripts of the opening chapters of two books were assumed to be the work of aspiring novelists. Of 21 replies, all but one were rejections. Sent by The Sunday Times of London, the manuscripts were the opening chapters of novels that won Booker Prizes in the 1970's. One was "Holiday," by Stanley Middleton; the other was "In a Free State," by Sir V. S. Naipaul, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature. Mr. Middleton said he wasn't surprised. "People don't seem to know what a good novel is nowadays," he said. Mr. Naipaul said: "To see something is well written and appetizingly written takes a lot of talent, and there is not a great deal of that around. With all the other forms of entertainment today, there are very few people around who would understand what a good paragraph is."
You can read the original Sunday Times article here.
So does this mean that being rejected repeatedly by traditional agents and publishers was The Dream Antilles' ticket to The Booker Prize? A National Book Award? A Pulitzer? A Nobel? Does it mean that now I'm going to be interviewed by my favorite interviewers? Or on a more modest scale, does it just provide yet another argument for my repeated condemnations of monopoly concentration in the publishing industry?
I haven't called the caterers and wine merchants yet for my celebration of my prizes, but the news does give me a warm, self satisfied, hopeful smile.