introducing readers to writers since 1995

October 10, 2004

Credit Where Credit Is Due

by Ron Hogan

Those NYT magazine readers who remember Deborah Solomon's interviews with Walter Mosley and Wynton Marsalis might wonder what her beef is with creative African-American men...were it not for the fact that interviews with Ted Kooser, Plum Sykes, and Harold Evans (among others) demonstrate that she spreads the combative condescension around pretty equally. It's a pleasant surprise for both the lazy assumptionalists and the careful readers, then, to see her seemingly cowed in the presence of genius when she interrogates Edward P. Jones. You would be too, I'm thinking, given the singleminded directness with which he seems to approach his vocation as a writer.


Cowed? I don't think so. I thought she was pretty condescending with the "what are you going to do with the money, you politically correct novelist who wasted his life before publishing his first (and only) novel" shit. This cements Solomon's standing as first-class bitch in my book.

Posted by: Ed at October 10, 2004 01:10 AM

At least Jimmy Beck(@ Old Hag) confesses his masochism regarding reading the various harpies and socially inept scribblers at the NYT, not to mention needing the opportunity to rail against the new and interesting book thing (review doesn't seem quite appropriate.) But you'all— every week it's Deborah this and Michiko that and Lauara who knows what.

Friends, stop I say. Stop stop stop. Read the Post. Read the Chronicle.Read future NYTBR Dave Dave Daley's paper. No more Times for you. Listen to me.It's for your own good

And Edward Jones. He's an original in so many ways.Having met and chatted with Edward, I was so impressed with his gentleness and his charming preoccupation with storytelling and writing it was just short of, or just at, the juncture of this world and a benign otherworldliness.

Please read his book.

Also, my obsession for the moment is seeing Jones' book, de Bernieres Birds without Wings and Francsiso Goldman's The Divine Husband as a troika of masterpieces...

Posted by: birnbaum at October 10, 2004 06:08 AM

I've got to go with Ed on what reads as an unbelievable level of condescension...

First (and only)...the fucking thing came out what, last year? -let's not see him churn out four or five more in 12 months to reap the benefits of fame.

Is that a full life? Would you ever ask that question to anybody?

RB - glad to see the consistentcy in your post-comments!


Posted by: Dan Wickett at October 10, 2004 07:37 AM

I don't think that the interview was condescending at all. In fact, I think she was unusually acute in her questioning and it made for a very interesting, telling interview. And when someone tells you that he never gets out of the house and eats dinner alone every night, "Is that a full life?" isn't a condescending question -- it's a logical one.

Posted by: The Significant Other at October 10, 2004 12:48 PM


It pains me to know that you think I'm a masochist (rim shot). Now if you'll excuse me, Rebecca Traister has just posted an interview with the author of a book on cock rings.

Posted by: Jimmy Beck at October 11, 2004 09:14 AM

As self-styled authority on how to determine when Deborah Solomon is kidding and when she's not, I declare Ron and Sig Other to be correct. All the rest of you, better luck next week. ;-)

Posted by: Sam at October 11, 2004 04:00 PM

You see!

Posted by: birnbaum at October 11, 2004 08:16 PM
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