Friday, October 17, 2008

Bernardine Evaristo's Blog

Poet and novelist, Bernardine Evaristo, author of The Emperor’s Babe, Blonde Roots and various other books, has started a new blog, which looks very interesting already. Her post on reviewing brings up many thorny issues: editors altering reviews after they’ve been submitted and so changing their entire slant, chance meetings with negative reviewers of your books, the balance to be struck between integrity and generosity, and:

“I have also been reviewed by people I know. Now if they’re nasty about my work, it’s no big deal. I just kill them.”

Yet another blog to bookmark.

7 comments:

Frances said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. She has an interesting looking course running at The Poetry School on a Friday evening.

Colin Will said...

I've added her to my bloglist - a distinctive and interesting take on things.

Roddy said...

Oh, I have quite a few tales to tell on reviewing! Just a couple...

Some years ago, a Sunday newspaper asked me to review a book by Rita Dove (a poet I like a lot). However that particular book was her worst and was poorly reviewed all round. My politely negative review was pulled - it turned out they were only reviewing the book because they needed to cover more black and female writers - they had forgotten to tell me that a negative review was not an option!

On the subject of a review being changed - my Selected was guest reviewed on a notorious online site. I was surprised to find a mostly positive review, with a few nasty personal barbs thrown in. The reviewer also posted the review on his own site - it had none of the barbs. It seems they had been added in by the site owner who was disappointed he hadn't go the hatchet job he was hoping for!

Jane Holland said...

Interesting. I was given her first poem-novel to review by Peter Forbes for Poetry Review but, after some reflection, chose not to.

Just as well I didn't review it, otherwise she might have killed me.

apprentice said...

She sounds a refreshing read, thanks Rob

Rob said...

I think her blog looks really good.

I haven't had any problems with editors changing my reviews and so Bernardine's stories (and yours, Roddy) really astonished me.

Jane. I think she reserves killing only for people she already knows, so you would have been safe! I haven't read her first verse-novel, but the second, The Emperor's Babe, is a great read.

Bernardine Evaristo said...

Hi Rob,

I've added your blog to my blogroll too. When do you need a response to the m/s by?
Love being a blogger!
B