Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chad Harbach: a writer to watch out for!

If you consider it in material terms, the last big writer was J. K. Rowling. She has lived her full course with glory and all, but she is dud now. So who would be the next big writer? The long search seems to have come to an end. And the new winner is a a young man in her early thirties: Chad Harbach, born and raised in Racine, Wisconosin, a founder- editor of n+1 magazine.

His 500 -page book is being released this week. A whopping advance( $665000), rave reviews even before the publication, excerpts in a popular magazine, authors like Franzen showering praise on the debut author, and the usual hypes that the publishing business embellish their blue-eyed boys with. The mammoth publicity machine is already at work, touting him as the rare hitter of contemporary fiction.

As ever, I have my doubts. Note the title of the book is "The Art of Fielding". Sounds atrocious as a fiction title. No play of imagination. Then it's about baseball. I don't want to mean that there can't be a good literary(?) novel about baseball. But it's somewhat repulsive for me.

Nevertheless, I find Chad a bit intriguing too. He seems kind of awkward, polite, candid, and even authentic in this interview. May be he's a real writer.

Before I sold this book I was kind of pretending I had money by spending so much time by working on N+1 and writing when I didn't have any money at all. I was kind of just barely...well, I was actually in a pretty dire financial situation. The point is I was devoting an awful lot of time to the magazine and I didn't actually have the luxury to do that.

I should have been working at a job that paid me money because I did not have any money. So after I sold the book, it wasn't hard to think about how I am going to spend my free time when I'm not working because I had this book to edit and I already had all this work I was doing for the magazine which I don't get paid for but have been doing anyway. But now I can do it without being kind of anxious the whole time. So it has changed my life in that I'm less persistently anxious.

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