Search

Everything wrong with publishing: A letter to David Remnick of The New Yorker

Thursday 10/28/21

A few prefatory remarks to this letter you're about to see, which is one I wrote to David Remnick, editor in chief of The New Yorker. It's really ten plus years in the making. David Remnick is a man who hates me because I can do in five minutes what he could not do in five million years. I am legit. Remnick is an empty suit who has fallen upwards via privilege and connections.


I know that this letter caused a great deal of ruckus, trepidation, and fear at The New Yorker. All of it is true. As I've written before, guilty is guilty. People know when they are guilty. They hope that others do not come to find out. I have means of knowing the ruckus such a letter has caused. It was not replied to, because what can one say? To not reply, and to hope the problem goes away--and the problem is just starting, and will only go away when justice is served--is as tacit an admission of guilt as there can be. What happens here is that when I am forced to bring matters to this journal, a first appearance is not a last appearance. It's the start of one's blog journey.


With The New Yorker, the amount of material I have gathered over these many years approaches a threshold of bottomlessness. You can see some of what will be discussed, probed, revealed, in these pages, laid out in this letter below. In other words, there's no one and done in this journal. There is the truth, and more of the truth, until, again, justice is served. Because you're not going to treat me like this. You're not going to discriminate against me, especially as I know exactly what you're all about and what you are doing. And you are certainly not going to have me stand by while you discriminate against my work. Which is all that matters to me. Fairness for my work.


People are going to be shocked--although maybe not--to see who stole ideas from me straight from my emails at The New Yorker. And yes, I have proof. I always have the proof. I don't move willy-nilly. I don't move out of emotion. I only move out of much deliberation, and when no other option remains, and I have taken the brunt of all of the bigotry I am going to take. I never wanted to move. That's why I tried to hang in there, for decades, being treated like excrement. Stolen from. Shunned. Discriminated against. And I know. I know exactly how everything works. These people often underestimate that. They underestimate the evidence I have. And who I know and have spoken to.


So, we start here with this letter that, again, I know sent some real shock waves, and became something that was obsessed over. Look at this as an outline for what will be, as they say, "unpacked," as we move forward in these pages.


And on an ironic note--though one that speaks to how incompetent and entitled these people are: even after this letter, and the concomitant ruckus, fact-checking called me the next day. Didn't leave a message that time, though.


It's disturbing to me, to say the least, that I feel like I've been handled/lip-serviced by the fiction department, where my work is given no real chance. In my view. (For instance: a fiction editor, having received two stories of mine in spring 2018, after I had just had fiction in Harper's, didn't even think those emails were worth opening. But they were worth saving. And then digging out a couple days ago when my blog created a splash in the publishing community with the factual truth I put out there, and the gossip wheel began to turn among such people.) I'm not sure it's read in other instances with David Wallace.


I used to be friends with David Haglund, who I wrote for at two places. Did fiction with him at PEN America, bunch of nonfiction at Slate. We talked Boston sports. We met. He goes there, and then turns on me, no explanation. Like it was the house policy. At a place that has employed some truly bad people. A man who was busted for kiddie porn. And obviously your man with his Zoom Onanism, which was really nothing--amazingly--compared to everything else he'd already done before that. Following women home. Asking them if they'd like to be fisted by him. Among other things. But I'm the bad guy? Agger once accepted a piece and then unaccepted it. Which is remarkably unprofessional. Ben Greenman, at the time, was quite outspoken about this to me. You last spoke to me over ten years ago when you accused me of lying, when I had done nothing of the sort, and you were in fact copied on emails showing everything I was doing, that I had been told to do by your Talk of the Town editor.


A couple Wednesdays ago I met with Ralph Eubanks here in Boston--or rather, Cambridge, where he is a visiting fellow for nine months, having arrived this autumn. He published a story of mine called "First Responder" at the VQR. And also some nonfiction. Immediately he started talking about his agent and The New Yorker. He's from Mississippi. Been in Boston all of five minutes.


And he's telling me, after I've been treated like I've been treated by this venue--and I have a lot of information about a lot of things, which might surprise you--in a truly degrading way, when it's not because of my abilities, or my work; nothing to do with that--that he's writing a piece for you on Boston monuments.


I had to laugh. To myself. Because this person knows nothing about this city and its monuments. And I have lived here my entire life, near about, walking thousands of miles in this city, of which I know every inch. I know why what goes in goes in at The New Yorker. And I also know why that leaves me with virtually no shot right now, when I have work that your readers would love. Special work from a special artist and writer doing unique things.


But then tonight, adding insult to injury, someone in your fact-checking department actually called me and asked for help with Eubanks' Boston piece. How many bridges are a bridge too far? I document a lot of things on a very popular blog about how this business really works. None of this is right.


That's some temerity doing me like all of you have done for this long, and then on top of that, reaching out to me just by calling me at night, for fact-checking help?


I am not a problem that is going to go away. None of this is right.