Last Itzkoff-y post ever (or at least until he sins again). Curtis Brown agent Ginger Clark responds in a letter to the NYTBR (scroll to fourth letter). It’s a thing of beauty:
More disappointing, Itzkoff’s reading list, which appeared on the Web, contains only two works written within the last 15 years and not a single one by a woman. Where are the novels of Ursula K. LeGuin, Lois McMaster Bujold, Alice Sheldon (a k a James Tiptree Jr.) and the recently departed Octavia E. Butler? I very much hope he has read ”The Left Hand of Darkness” and ”The Parable of the Sower.” And will Itzkoff ever touch on fantasy in his column? Or are those books even more humiliating to read? I’d better hide my George R. R. Martin and Gene Wolfe right now — someone on the F train might think badly of me! Please, Book Review: There is nothing wrong with science fiction.
4 thoughts on “Cheers!”
Ah! I couldn’t find this; thanks for the pointer.
Very well said.
I love my agent. Ginger rocks.
A beauty indeed! Clear and civil and uncompromising. I award Ms. Clark three points.
I think she hits the nail on the head in pointing out that the main oddity of Itzkoff’s list is the relative antiquity (on average) of his choices. I’m willing to believe that his tastes might simply slant toward male writers (mine slant heavily female), and given the small number of nonwhite SF writers, might exclude them. But I have trouble believing that anybody who’s been seriously/steadily reading SF in recent years can’t come up with a list containing a few more recent writers. In fact to me his list looks like a mixture of “classics I know I’m supposed to like” plus a few more alternative choices thrown in to prove he knows enough to do that (Mieville and the two irregulars, Watchmen and the Twilight Zone book). And not only is he trying to pull off that snow job, but… he fails.
Apologies for the late rant; I just came in on this thread (after reading the review and being vaguely irritated, but without originally having read the list).
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