I usually am a shy one at parties, but this was so warm, and so much fun. And before the party I slipped into Bloomingdale's. I haven't been there in years because I prefer funky little shops, and the first thing I saw was a woman laying on a table getting what looked like a back massage in the middle of the store! Then there was an alarming Barbie exhibit, with one whole section devoted to Barbie-like clothing! Come on, gals! Do we really want to dress like a plastic doll with hard breasts?
I also want to comment on the 5 million advance paid out to the author of The Time Traveler's Wife for her second book. She says she would have liked to have stayed with struggling and fabulous publisher MacAdam Cage, but instead took the money. (Yes, I know, that is a hard figure to turn away from!) In this climate, where houses are failing, bookstores are closing and writers are having tough times, I really think an advance that huge is part of the problem. There have been countless articles already about how huge advances that don't earn back ruin publishers (and make it that much tougher for other authors). Was this really necessary? Yes, I know many people think she is a fine writer (Although I admire her style, I found Time Traveler's Wife book repetitious and unmoving. I know this is shocking to many, but I did.) Couldn't she have taken a smaller advance and if she is worth 8 million, earned it in royalties? Believe me, I am not sour grapish--I want all writers to succeed. I want publishing to thrive and bookstores to flourish and I am a bit of a Pollyanna who wants everyone to be happy. But hearing that advance figure made me worry for her publisher, and for truly, for all of us.