It didn’t take long for people to start getting mad about The New Yorker‘s “20 under 40” fiction issue after we reported yesterday on its upcoming publication.
Twitter user @bookgirl96, who used to be a publicist at Simon & Schuster, registered her displeasure early, at 9:17 a.m.
“New Yorker about to publish ’20 under 40′ best American authors,” she wrote. “I tried reading The Corrections. Didn’t like it.”
Two minutes later she followed up: “I also didn’t like Everything is Illuminated.” Then: “I wonder how many female novelists will be on the New Yorker list. That is the question.”
It didn’t end there. A few minutes before ten Bookgirl told her followers: “The problem with NYer’s ’20 under 40′ writers is that it shows why publishing can be so elitist.”
Finally, in the afternoon, she linked to an item about the list that had been posted on Daily Intel: “NY Mag’s take on The New Yorker’s ’20 Under 40′ writers. Yawn.”
How much more of this kind of stuff are we going to hear when the list is actually published on June 7th?
In an interview Monday, two days before the Bookgirl tweets appeared, literary agent Ira Silverberg of Sterling Lord Literistic, said he’s hoping people don’t lose their heads too much.
“Every time a magazine like that tries to do something good, there’s a long line of people trying to throw a bucket of shit on them,” Mr. Silverberg said by phone. “And that’s getting tedious.”
He said people shouldn’t complain so much and take the list for what it is.
“I think we make too much of a sport of picking apart these lists rather than embracing the writers whom we should be proud of,” Mr. Silverberg said. “You know, I’m just getting bored with all the nitpicking.”
(Note: he was talking in general, not about Bookgirl or her tweets specifically.)