.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, November 11, 2005


The Last Days of Publishing

A Novel by Tom Engelhardt
University of Massachusetts Press, 2003

Tom Engelhardt, a veteran editor with 15 years experience at Pantheon, has written a first-person narrative told by a ‘fictional’ veteran editor who has worked for many years in a small prestigious publishing house that has been adsorbed into a multi-media entertainment conglomerate. In what must be a classic ‘art imitating life’ story, Engelhardt has written a compelling human story about a man struggling with his own mortality, his existential loneliness, and his professional obsolescence in an industry that seems to have lost its relevance. This human story is wrapped in a chronicle of the “decline unto death” of traditional small-press publishing and the loss to ‘literature’ the death implies. Within the tale the narrator struggles with the loss of a love (both an ex-wife and a lover) and friendships, which run parallel to the loss of his livelihood and his professional identity. At the end of the story, Engelhardt suggests that there is hope; all is not lost: literary fiction and low-profit-margin books of all types will survive. The life force that drives the creation of low-profit books is too strong to disappear even if the venue for publication changes. It is interesting to note that the publisher of The Last Days of Publishing is the University of Massachusetts Press. University presses traditionally have been a venue for books of limited interest.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?