a little east of reality

Friday, July 20, 2007

outraged over austen

This story just has me floored ~ not the fact that they would reject the work (plenty of good authors get rejected) but moreso the fact that 17 publishers couldn't recognise Austen's most famous works at a glance. Good grief, this is their industry, and even if they (amazingly) aren't well read, there have been several movies made of these works. Have they been living in a cave?
Modern publishers 'reject' Jane Austen

She might have sold millions of books in the past 200 years, but a daring experiment has found Jane Austen would struggle to secure a book deal today.

David Lassman, a frustrated author and director of the Jane Austen Festival in the English town of Bath, sent off manuscripts featuring several chapters of Austen's most famous work to 18 publishers and agents, claiming it was all his work.

To his amazement all publishers rejected the manuscripts, and most failed to spot that he had ripped off opening chapters of Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

"I was staggered," Lassman told The Guardian newspaper.

"Here is one of the greatest writers that has lived, with her oeuvre securely fixed in the English canon and yet only one recipient recognised them as Austen's work."

Lassman decided to send off the manuscripts, which contained only slight alterations to Austen's words, in frustration at having his own original thriller rejected.

"I know it isn't a masterpiece but I think it is publishable," he said.

"Yet nobody wanted it. I was talking with some friends and we wondered if Jane would find a publisher or agent if she were around today."
Apparently not.

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