It’s Miller Time

By Carmen Comment

Back in the early days of litblogging, it seemed that a day could hardly pass before someone was getting upset, indignant or just plain cranky about what Laura Miller had written in the New York Times. The ire has lessened a lot in the intervening years but one has good reason to suspect the critical level will rise again in the face of yesterday’s Publishers Marketplace Deal Lunch.

Miller (who’s also Salon’s Books Editor) has decided to extend her critical forays into book format. In a pre-empt, Little, Brown’s Michael Pietsch bought her “autobiographical literary criticism” of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, appropriately called THE MAGICIAN’S BOOK. The pitch goes on to call it “the elusive power of story and magic that makes you fall in love with any book,” which sounds fun but seems a rather flimsy construct at first glance.

Then again, I’m more amused in the face of anonymous literary agent Miss Snark’s recent rant about book reviewers/editors doubling as authors, even going so far as to create a mock conversation:

Ring! Ring!

Editor: Hello

Miss Snark: I have a delicous new novel from a fresh voice. You’ll love it, I know cause you love novels about pigs that fly and live on Park Avenue and perambulate through the park.

Editor: Well…

Miss Snark: oh, and I should also mention, he’s the chief book reviewer for Time Magazine.

Editor: We’ll take world rights for six figures, Alex.

Not that she was actually talking about Lev Grossman, of course…