Monday, November 1, 2010

Not All of Us Are Dorothy Parker

That's the conclusion drawn by one author at the end of a book group encounter. Writer, Melanie Benjamin writes of her book group experience-from-hell, and the way instantaneous communication can hurt!
Now, I'm not saying that, back in the day, Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Wolfe didn't get letters from readers complaining about their books. But it took some time and effort back then; a person had to write a letter, find a stamp, walk to the post office. Now, we're seeing every reader's impulsive thought, unfiltered. Even when they're not addressed to us specifically -- for I doubt that the average person who comments on Amazon or on Twitter is considering the fact that the author might be reading, as well--we see them. All of them. In all their impulsive, unfiltered, permanent-record glory.
Remember book group leaders, if you have members who don't know how to be gracious in their criticism, then perhaps your group should rethink "live" author visits.

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