Typing Without a Clue – NYTimes.com
By TIMOTHY EGAN
Published: December 6, 2008
The unlicensed pipe fitter known as Joe the Plumber is out with a book this month, just as the last seconds on his 15 minutes are slipping away. I have a question for Joe: Do you want me to fix your leaky toilet?
I didnâ€™t think so. And I donâ€™t want you writing books. Not when too many good novelists remain unpublished. Not when too many extraordinary histories remain unread. Not when too many riveting memoirs are kicked back at authors after 10 years of toil. Not when voices in Iran, North Korea or China struggle to get past a censorâ€™s gate.Â (The rest at the link)
As a (former) professional technical writer of 20-odd years, published poet, and aspirant novelist/essayist, I could not agree more.Â Not only does “JTP” (as he is being called now) have a book deal, but as the article notes, supposedly Sarah Palin’s being offered $7 million for her own book.
The lady can’t even express a coherent thought verbally — think that’s going to be any different in print?Â No, they’ll counter, she’ll have a ghost writer, be heavily coached and edited, etc.Â And still she gets to pocket an obscene advance, while hundreds of more deserving and talented authors struggle just to get through the publishers’ doors.Â (Meanwhile, that ghost-writer’s soul will stare deep into the Nietzschian ‘Abyss’ that is Sarah Palin’s incoherent, ill-educated narcissistic psyche…Â No, not even for a sizable chunk of that advance would I do it.)
I’m glad to be heading back to India for continuing study for one other good reason:Â The bookstores over there won’t have these hack-job/whack-job wingnut welfare doorstops-cum-‘books’ on display.