Thursday, December 18, 2008
An Open Letter to US Publishers
Would you please publish some of Irish author Mary Stanley's work?
The first book of hers that I read was Retreat. I was lucky to find it in a used bookstore and while I don't remember the details, it is a story of young girls and how they were being treated (poorly) while attending a Catholic school. In the past year I've read Stanley's books Revenge and Missing. What they have in common is that they are stories about families, somewhat quirky and eccentric families, but families that are living and growing and to whom something bad happens. The only reason I haven't read Stanley's other books is that I love them so much, I horde them.
Revenge is the book that I just finished last week. In this tale, the oldest daughter in the family awakens on Christmas morning in her bed, obviously assaulted and with no recollection what has happened. The aftermath of this, how her family comes together and apart, and how each member of the family handles this is the bulk of the story.
It's hard for me to know how to categorize Mary Stanley's novels. I might call it women's fiction since most of the primary characters in the books are women. But some take offence to that category so I won't call it that. Though I do think it's true that there are books that have more appeal to women than men and there's nothing wrong with that. So back to the drawing board. It's even hard to decide who to compare Stanley's writing with. Her characters are real and flawed, unique and funny at the same time. Her writing is fluid, and just detailed enough. Her books have that page-turning sense of suspense. They are readable and smart and most importantly they are entertaining.
So please, US publishers, I implore you to take a look at Mary Stanley's work and consider adding her to your list. I don't think you'd be sorry, I think her books have widespread appeal and would sell. I, for one, know that I can purchase Stanley's books from the UK. But think of all the people who are missing out.
In other news, a bookish story....this is a conversation that took place in my home last evening.
Me: Have you gotten me anything for Christmas yet?
Husband: No. (No surprise there.)
Well, would you mind if I ordered something and it'll be from you?
What do you want?
Well, you have that gift certificate from Amazon.
Yes, well. I want books from Britain.
Mmmmmm. I figured.
So can I?
And that was that. I spent a glorious time on the computer last night ordering from The Book Depository and another company that begins with a P. I gave myself a monetary limit. Sort of. And the exchange rate now is quite good (1 pound = $1.55), so it's a good time to order. I will soon have SEVEN books winging their way to me and I.Cannot.Wait. Will share titles and photos after they arrive. I figure, even though I picked out the books and ordered them myself, they will all still be a surprise, since I've never held any of them in my hands or browsed through them. Dreamy.