This Mortal Coil


So I'm filling out the marketing questionnaire for The Adventures of Cancer Bitch. This means I'm listing possible reviewers and interviewers who might be interested in me and the book. So I'm looking at the press list from my last book, looking up reviewers. There's Merle Rubin, Christian Science Monitor. Hmm, I guess I'll look her up. She didn't review Holocaust Girls, but maybe she'd be interested...

Oops. She died in 2006. Age 57. Of cancer. The LA Times reported in December 2006:
Merle Rubin, a book critic who was a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times as well as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times and Christian Science Monitor, has died. She was 57.
It is rare for a book critic to support herself as a freelancer. The profession is notorious for long hours and low pay, but it seemed to agree with Rubin.
“It is a way of making a literary life,” Times Book Editor David Ulin said of Rubin’s career. “The intellectual benefits are there.”
Nick Owchar, Times deputy book editor added that Rubin "thought of the reader" and "she wanted to be sure they had an experience of the book by reading her review, whether they read the book or not."


Her husband is also a reviewer.

How long will people be able to support themselves reviewing books? What will the literary landscape look like in 10 years?

I need to figure out what it means that more and more people are writing (blogs, emails, text messages, online reviews of everything from post offices to appliances) and fewer people are reading. Books, at least.

Here is a link to one of Rubin's reviews. Brought to you by the wonders of the online world.

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