Bad Publicity

By Teddy Wayne

Dear Media People Whose Names I Found on Mastheads:


Everyone asks me, “What’s your novel about?” And I always answer, “It’s about 300 pages!”  I don’t know, someone laughed at that once. Tell me if I should drop it.


Anyhoo, I think you should totally cover it in your book review. Wait, do you have a book review still? I thought they were all closing down, because, you know, your industry is dying. Sorry—our industry. On that note, if you ever find yourself out of a job, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. And vice versa, right?


Here’s a link to the YouTube video trailer for the book. Isn’t it ironic—using the very medium that’s destroying literature to promote it? Actually, is that the definition of “ironic”? I know people mess that up all the time, like Alanis Morissette and Winona Ryder and probably every other iconic nineties brunette. Isn’t it ironic that I just rhymed it with “iconic”?


I’ve set up a book tour for myself that I hope you’ll publish along with your review. Although I wasn’t able to land any brick and mortar bookstores. More like libraries. School libraries. Nursery school libraries. I’ll be reading to passersby when I get breaks from substitute-supervising recess, so the tour schedule is subject to change. Stay tuned to my Twitter for updates, once I figure out how to set up an account.


As for the novel itself, it’s a lyrical, searching journey into the heart of a woman’s unrequited desires set against the backdrop of a nation divided by … Sorry, I was plagiar–I mean emulating jacket copy from a few Oprah books. Do any of you know Oprah, by the way? If you do, and feel like mentioning something about the book, well, let’s just put it this way: Go ahead. 


Gosh, I’m sure I should say more about the book, but it’s been so long since I wrote it, and I haven’t really had the urge to reread it. To be honest, I was zonked out on a cocktail of Vicodin and codeine through most of the writing process, thanks to a few root canals and a dentist who got his degree in the Virgin Islands. As I recall, the hero watches a lot of daytime talk shows in the background, and procrastinates on Wikipedia, and texts friends about that night’s plans. Or maybe that’s what I was doing at the time. But I do know that it’s a sort of Fellini-esque art-merging-with-life metafiction. There is definitely an exciting confrontation of some kind in it–I think it’s a policeman and an icepick killer. Or an ice-cream man and a police-killer. Something like that.


You know what? I don’t want to influence you. You read it, and form your own opinion. I guess I should say “opinions,” since I always try to write correctly and am mass e-mailing this letter out indiscriminately.

I’m available for interviews. At noonish–or even after one–is a good time. 

Teddy Wayne is the author of the novel “Kapitoil,” available from Harper Perennial.