Pub Rants

A Very Nice Literary Agent Indulges in Polite Rants About Queries, Writers, and the Publishing Industry

BEA Adult Editor Buzz Panel

STATUS: The most frustrating morning with a foreign rights deal!

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? RUBY by Ray Charles

Since we kicked off the week with the YA Buzz panel, it’s only fair to close it out by talking about the adult title buzz panel. I have to say the crowd seemed to have responded much more enthusiastically to the upcoming titles then they did for the YA panel.

For the record, I wasn’t able to stay for the whole panel so I missed out on the last two titles: JULIET (shout out to my agent friend Dan Lazar whose book this is) and THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES (great title!). I can’t really give you insight to the reactions when the editors presented them.

For my part, I was very impressed with all the presentations. Here are the titles to get you started.

ROOM by Emma Donoghue
WEST OF HERE by Jonathan Evison
JULIET by Anne Fortier
BAD SCIENCE by Ben Goldacre
THE EVOLUTION OF BRUNO LITTLEMORE by Benjamin Hale
THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES: A BIOGRAPHY OF CANCER by Siddhartha Mukherjee

For my take, the crowd really reacted to ROOM. It’s got a Lovely Bones element and is potentially the kind of story that you might say “ick, I don’t want to read that” but then you get caught and can’t put it down. I bet you’ll hear people talking about it this fall. I did snag a galley of this one. Love the cover.

I enjoyed the presentation for BAD SCIENCE as I like narrative nonfiction that illuminates the world we live in. In this case, the work tackles scientific misinformation. My book club loves this kind of stuff so my guess is that we’ll probably read it at some point.

BRUNO is exactly the kind of literary fiction that I can’t stand but I’m usually alone in this sentiment and the novel will probably be wildly popular. Just not my cup of tea.

I’ve heard amazing things about JULIET but alas, wasn’t there to hear the reaction. Sara snagged a galley so we’ll be reading.

WEST OF HERE is an Algonquin book (they did Water For Elephants) and the editor is the same, Chuck Adams. I have a lot of respect for his taste so even though the book didn’t stand out for me per se, I’ll willing to bet on it because of reputation of Chuck and the publishing house.

If any blog reader was there, feel free to chime in on the comments section.

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5 Responses

  1. Chris Scena said:

    What kind of Literary Fiction do you like (aside from Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet obviously)? I did not realize there were categories.

    This is something I have always been flumoxed by, because I love to read (and write), but most literary fiction just puts me to sleep. I read Gilead and could have put it down at any point before page 200 and never worried about seeing what happened. Jamie Ford’s book was one of the few literary books I have ever read that kept me interested the whole way through.

    Is there a type of literary fiction that is more accessible (has a plot)?

  2. Some Screaming Fangirl said:

    Hmmm…your comparison of ROOM and the LOVELY BONES does make sense. And you’re right, the cover is cute and young… I’m not so sure about the others though.

    WEST OF HERE and JULIET seem average. BAD SCIENCE does appear intriguing; for some reason people like to read about how wretched our world really is. (FAST FOOD NATION, anybody?) BRUNO LITTLEMORE is…confusing. A book just about a chimpanzee? Seriously? And A BIOGRAPHY OF CANCER doesn’t seem bad, though I’m still not sure why it’s a biography…?

    Oh well. These are all adult and nonfiction anyways. I don’t read much of either genre. I wish Emma Donoghue and Ben Goldacre the best with their books.

  3. Dana Elmendorf said:

    Curiosity made me click on the BRUNO book so I could see just what you can’t stand. I don’t see it being wildly popular, it sounds odd. Who knows.

  4. Anonymous said:

    Good for the authors — having this exposure will surely help their books find homes, even if it’s not in my home.

    I was all for ROOM until you paired it as having a Lovely Bones type vibe (which I thought was so overrated and badly written I was stunned by its success). None of the others looked really interesting either, though. Nor was I intrigued by any of the last post’s YA offerings.

    Hmmm, I guess it’s going to be a dry reading season for me coming up.

    ***I just need one good summery read to kick things off, does anyone else have any suggestions?

  5. Carolyn Burns Bass said:

    I was at the adult Book Buzz panel and came away feeling a bit discouraged for writers of beautiful, quiet stories such as HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET). My impression was that buzz-worthy fiction must be wild and experimental nature (BRUNO LITTLEMORE), high-concept and voyeuristic (ROOM) or lush panorama (WEST OF HERE). I managed to snag a copy of BRUNO, which I think would make a great #litchat topic, even though it’s probably not my cup of tea, either.

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