31 January 2010

Who is the Next Zachary Mason?

A year ago, the New York Times poked fun at Zachary Mason. He was one of those crazy authors that sent them wacky things in the mail, begging for reviews. Silly rabble -- reviews are for the well-connected!

A year and a half later, the NYT finally assigned The Lost Books of the Odyssey for review. Of course, first the book had to be published by a major NY house, Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux. The Times's primary job isn't to discuss literature, after all -- it's to support the beleaguered NYC publishing establishment. FS&G also got its cue from somebody else -- they picked up The Lost Books after it was nominated for a Young Lions Prize by the NY Public Library in early 2009. (Thanks, Brigid Hughes! Thanks, Ethan Hawke!)

The first recognition The Lost Books of the Odyssey received was when it won The Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction in 2006-7, a blind-judged manuscript contest offered annually by Starcherone Books. We've got our seventh such contest accepting manuscripts now, until February 15. Zach was winner #4.

I'm not saying that books like The Lost Books of the Odyssey come around every year, or even every two or three years. But keep your eyes on our other winners. Without making it a competition, these are definitely books that at least deserve to be in the conversation with The Lost Books of the Odyssey:

> Woman with Dark Horses, stories by Aimee Parkison (selected by Cris Mazza)

> Hangings: Three Novellas, by Nina Shope (selected by Kenneth Bernard)

> The Blue of Her Body, by Sara Greenslit (selected by Brian Evenson)

> The Creepy Girl and other stories, by Janet Mitchell (selected by Lance Olsen)

and forthcoming in Fall 2010:
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, by Alissa Nutting (selected by Ben Marcus)

Readers interested in what's new in contemporary fiction can purchase any of these titles, or subscribe to our entire 2010 season or 4 titles at a discounted rate. The Jack Kerouac Just Sent Mom Out for Another Bottle of Tokay Annual Subscription -- which this year includes three novels, Raymond Federman's Shhh: The Story of a Childhood, Leslie Scalapino's Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows, and Thaddeus Rutkowski's Haywire, as well as Alissa Nutting's contest-winning short story collection, is only $49.95, ppd.

If you read books, this subscription is one of the best deals you can find -- especially when we see the Starcherone first edition/first printing of Zachary Mason's book now a coveted rarity, selling for over $100! When you wait for for someone else to tell you what's good, you pay for it.

Our subscription is also a very well-kept secret. As of today, and including our donors who get the subscription as a thank you for their contributions, we have a total of 22 subscribers! Meanwhile, The Lost Books of the Odyssey has crossed into amazon's Top 200 -- and it doesn't even get released until Tuesday!

You can read tomorrow today by subscribing to Starcherone Books. If you are interested in mainstream publishing, continue to read what the mainstream publishers are selling. But if you are interested in the future of literature, subscribe to Starcherone Books.