Publishing, Weight, and Writers Who Are "Hard To Look At"
almost 2 years ago
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"“We would have paid her the same money if she weighed 500 pounds and was really hard to look at.” This is such a telling quote in so many ways, and says a great deal about what types of writers so many of the gatekeepers in publishing are looking for – often, although not in this case, unconsciously. The “if she weighed 500 pounds” part is so clearly a hyperbolic flourish, as if Herr was thinking, what’s something really outrageous, something that no great writer would ever be, to make it clear how much we don’t let someone’s looks influence the size of their advance, as if to say, Can you imagine a brilliant writer who also weighed 500 pounds. It’s the “or purple” of “I don’t care if you’re black, or white, or purple”: This would never happen, but even if it did, I wouldn’t care."
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