Tag Archives: Joan Williams

Writing Wednesday: A Blurb Job

14 Dec

When Joan Williams asks William Faulkner to blurb her book, it takes an ugly turn.  In telling the story of their affair (a story also told by Lisa C. Hickman in William Faulkner and Joan Williams: The Romance of Two Writers), Glen David Gold makes a compelling argument for not sleeping with writers in “On Not Rolling the Log,” in The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Gold goes on to say:

How confusing it is to entangle acclaim and love. How much of a balancing act to determine your real value to another person. When you cultivate a literary friendship, it’s good to remember — and hard to prove — that it’s the work which is a commodity, not you.

An editor was telling me recently that Ken Kesey asked Jack Kerouac to blurb one of his books and he refused.  He was very protective of his name, his brand.

Some writers whore out their name.  Others keep it under lock and key.  The book business is a small and incestuous one, and a blurb from the right author can propel sales.  But at what cost?