The New York Times has a rule not to review my books. It's part of the blackballing. Does this matter? No. Ultimately, it won't. A time will come when there won't be a choice, and/or the people behind the discrimination are gone, because leverage changes, and one way leverage changes is with work that is better than any other work. Another way is when there are pressures from the outside. The truth--when enough people know it--has a way of applying those pressures. I'm also banned at The Paris Review, which is headed now by extreme bigots in Emily Stokes and Lidija Haas. They are all about the system and hooking up system people. Of course, I did nothing to any of these people. There is no transgression. There is only matchless work. As we've seen in these pages, I'm all too happy to put the garbage these people publish next to what I do. Happy for everyone to see the contrast in quality.
The Paris Review has come up in these pages several times, and it's coming up again today. Lorin Stein had been the editor there, a man who allegedly traded space in the journal for sex--and book deals (he was also at FSG; more on them shortly)--and who had sex with people on his desk at work, and also allegedly anally raped people there. Class act, right? If you saw photos of Lorin Stein at Paris Review parties, you saw a man who clearly tried to hire a harem for himself. One waif-ish, attractive woman after another. One of those women went on to become Stein's wife. This is Sadie Stein.
Like almost all of these people, Sadie Stein has no ability. She has connections, though. She is mediocre and monied. And she's the kind of person who has no problem marrying a man like this. How do you think she got The Paris Review gig? How do you think she got or gets any writing gig or job? You know. Anyone who pays a semblance of attention knows. This is all that publishing is. Always. Until it changes. Which is why we're here.
So today I see that Sophie Stein has this piece in The Paris Review. She abundantly thanked editors Stoke and Haas, because of course she did. Her husband did what he did, this person has no ability, clearly no morals of her own, and now it's time to funnel her right back in. (Can you imagine what this woman knows, in terms of the abuse of power against other women? But hey--how else are you going to publish anything and get jobs when you don't have any talent? So mum's the word.) I knew there was more. There's always more. And it took me five seconds to find out what the more was.
Sadie Stein--again, no talent, does very little, and what she does do she owes entirely to being hooked-up (that's kind of a pun)--was just hired as preview editor by The New York Times Book Review. So that's another reason they wanted her back in at The Paris Review. Note how in the press release for her hiring they don't mention her husband by name. Gee. I wonder why that is.
They live in Manhattan. I'm pretty sure he doesn't work, after the whole sex-on-the-desk, trade sex for publication, and alleged anal rape things. She publishes very little. How do they live in Manhattan and support a kid? These people are always from money. They don't really work at anything, they're not intelligent, they have no skills, they can't write, and morally they are the worst people out there. They all look after each other, though, and there's no one they hate more than the person who is least like them. That would be me.
Thinks about this: Lorin Stein was relieved of his duties at The Paris Review in essence for sexual predation. Sadie Stein knew exactly who he was. She countenanced it. She was a part of it. Essentially, she showed then, and she shows now, that she's okay with it.
Emily Stokes gets this job, after Emily Nemens--who has no qualifications to be anything, and who told me, in an email, that publication has to do with far more factors than the quality of a story, as if the latter was incidental or irrelevant, was awarded it previously simply as the safest reaction away from Lorin Stein--and this is the last stop for her. It's what leads the obituary.
What does it really mean? Not a lot. But she still feels a need to bring in this person with that association, who was and is a party to that behavior? But I'm the devil? Because, what? I offered you masterpieces beyond all of these works you print? Because I offered you "Fitty," a story that would actually impact the world and which this world needs? That was generous of me. Because money-wise, it's not much. For your literary journal. For a story that none of these other stories can ever begin to compare to. And no one thinks they can when we put what these people do next to what I do, whether it's "Fitty" or anything else.
But you need Sadie Stein's voice on your blog to write whatever that piffle was? Really? Because she's so good? Because she's such a talented writer? Please--go ahead and click on the link above for her Paris Review piece. That's vital writing, huh? Do you understand how arrogant you have to be if you're Emily Stokes to conduct yourself that way? Staggering hubris. How about what you're saying to women? You don't just move on from that era of sexual predation? You bring in a representative of that era, who countenanced that behavior, and who is a big old nothing as a writer? Why?
You know the answer. Simply because she's one of them.
And then The New York Times hires Sadie Stein. Why? What have you ever done, save come from money, have zero character, be connected in this incestuous community, serve as a model for gilded mediocrity, and write puff pieces on things like Mr. Met for our old friend, the bigoted William Staley? What can you even do, if you're Sadie Stein? What is real about you? What is legitimate in terms of abilities? Nothing.
No matter how many times I see it--and you see it every single time--it still amazes how these odious, talentless people look after each other. Even when they don't know each other. It's like they all wear the same signet ring, and upon seeing another of their ilk with that signet ring, they hook them up. You cannot be more discriminatory than these people. They only care about their ilk, no matter how wretched the members of the clan, and never mind that those members produce nothing worth reading.
That's how their system continues on--they've made it so that reading is not a worthwhile experience, given what they serve up, so people read less and less, and their level of care and interest diminishes accordingly. There are no prying eyes, because the owners of those eyes have all gone elsewhere. Then it's a free-for all for the people of this system like a Sadie Stein, like an Emily Stokes, like the people at The New York Times Book Review who hired Stein, like William Staley. As it was for Lorin Stein, who simply had the bad timing of getting caught up in the #metoo movement. Otherwise, he'd be out there doing what he was doing, and getting away with it, with his cronies covering for him.
It's sick, isn't it?
That is how it works in publishing right now. If you are actually good at writing, if you are self-made, if you have values, you have no chance right now. You will. That will change. This right here is part of the process of that change. If you are out there and you fit the above bill, keep writing and be ready to go when the day comes that people like this have no say over anything.