Thank You for Not Reading by Dubravka Ugresic

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In this collection of acerbic essays, Ugresic dissects the nature of the contemporary book industry, which she argues is so infected with the need to create and promote literature that will appeal to the masses--literally to everyone--that if Thomas Mann were writing nowadays, his books wouldn't even be published in the U.S. because they're not sexy enough.

A playful and biting critique, Ugresic's essays hit on all of the major aspects of publishing: agents, subagents, and scouts, supermarket-like bookstores, Joan Collins, book fairs that have little to do with books, authors promoted because of sex appeal instead of merit, and editors trying to look like writers by having their photograph taken against a background of bookshelves.

Thanks to cultural influences such as Oprah, The Today Show, and Kelly Ripa, best-seller lists have become just a modern form of socialist realism, a manifestation of a society that generally ignores literature in favor of the next big thing.


About Dubravka Ugresic

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Dubravka Ugresic is the author of several works of fiction, including The Museum of Unconditional Surrender and Fording the Stream of Consciousness, and three collections of essays, Have a Nice Day, The Culture of Lies, and most recently Thank You for Not Reading.She has received several international prizes for her writing, including the Swiss Charles Veillon European Essay Prize, the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, and most recently the Premio Feronio-Citta di Fiano. Born and raised in the former Yugoslavia, she left her homeland in 1993 for political reasons and currently lives in Amsterdam. Celia Hawkesworth was Senior Lecturer in Serbian and Croatian at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College, London until her retirement. She has published numerous articles and several books on Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian literature, including a study Ivo Andric: Bridge between East and West, and Voices in the Shadows: Women and Verbal Art in Serbia and Bosnia. She has also published numerous translations, including several works by Ivo Andric and Dubravka Ugresic.
Published November 1, 2003 by Dalkey Archive Press. 220 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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There is a powerful piece about exile and its many meanings (and consequences), and Ugresic concludes with the best essay of all about a carpenter named Roy who helped remodel her Amsterdam apartment and who had also begun writing a novel called The Seventh Screw.

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The Guardian

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The book arose from a conflict between two feelings, she writes, that "self-respecting writers should not write about things that wise people prefer not to discuss" and then that, on the contrary, self-respecting writers should never try to be too wise.

May 08 2004 | Read Full Review of Thank You for Not Reading

Publishers Weekly

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In the bustling Anglo-American literary marketplace, the Eastern European exile doesn't stand a chance, says Ugresic (Have a Nice Day), herself in self-exile from Croatia.

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Most of the first fifteen or so essays are about this state-of-affairs - sometimes rather elliptical, often funny, sometimes a little too neat, Ugresic's short essay's (the first two sections consisting almost entirely of essays that are just three or four pages long) often return to the compelli...

Jan 12 2003 | Read Full Review of Thank You for Not Reading

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