Memoirist Ginsberg (Waiting; Raising Blaze) gracefully transitions into fiction with a fresh twist on the aggrieved publishing assistant. Angel Robinson is a voracious reader excited to land a job at the prestigious Lucy Fiamma Literary Agency in San Francisco, but she quickly finds herself overwhelmed in the maelstrom of an office. Angel, forever lugging manuscripts home, discovers she has a knack for turning mediocre manuscripts into moneymakers, a talent Lucy handsomely capitalizes on. When an anonymous submission set in a Bay Area literary agency is e-mailed in, Angel begins hammering it into salable shape. At first, the parallels between the manuscript and her life are innocuous enough, but as subsequent chapters appear in her inbox and she corresponds via e-mail with the author (coyly called "G. A. Novelist"), the story begins to reveal intimate details about Angel's life and to contain thinly veiled threats. Could her foundering writer boyfriend be the culprit? A jealous co-worker? Another of Lucy's clients? A game of e-mail cat and mouse unfolds as Angel continues working on the manuscript and her dragon-lady boss angles to sell it. Though not nail-bitingly suspenseful, the plot is twisty enough to keep readers guessing to the end. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"The conventional wisdom is that books set in the publishing world don't sell," Angel Robinson tells her boss. Angel's new job at a California literary agency requires submitting reader's reports to agent extraordinaire Lucy Fiamma. Intrigued by a manuscript set in a fictional literary agency, Angel begins corresponding with its anonymous author. When chapters from the novel begin to parallel Angel's real life, she suspects the author is someone she knows. Meant to be a more literary The Devil Wears Prada, this debut novel by memoirist Ginsberg (Raising Blaze: Bringing Up an Extraordinary Son in an Ordinary World) includes every item on the "bite the boss" checklist: boyfriend trouble, hostile and incompetent co-workers, and a demanding boss who blurs the line between driven and demented. The book-within-a-book hook adds a clever twist to this tale of entry-level angst. Angel is a likable protagonist, and the reader will be pleased when she finally gets her happy ending. Recommended for most fiction collections. Karen Kleckner, Deerfield P.L., IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From memoirist Ginsberg (About My Sisters, 2004, etc.), a romantic satire about the publishing industry that combines what the heroine herself calls "bite the boss" with "bit the assistant" fiction. Spurred on by her aspiring-writer boyfriend Malcolm, Angel takes a job as personal assistant to powerful San Francisco literary agent Lucy Fiamma. Lucy, who gained prominence by discovering the wildly successful Alaskan memoir Cold!, by the reclusive author Karanak, gets the job done for her authors, but she is a vicious, heartless slave-driver with no real love for books or writers. But Lucy is no fool, and she quickly discovers that Angel, who worked in an independent bookstore until it closed, has a natural gift for finding promising manuscripts and whipping them into shape. Soon, Angel discovers Damiano Vero, a handsome Italian pastry-chef whose memoir recounting his drug addiction and recovery sells at auction for $500,000. Angel has a few more promising manuscripts in process when she receives an anonymous submission, a novel called Blind Submission, about a literary agency. Angel recognizes that the book is trashy but highly saleable, and Lucy quickly decides to represent the still-anonymous author. Then the chapters Angel begins receiving by e-mail have an increasingly familiar ring. Meanwhile, she and Malcolm break up after his book is rejected by the agency. Angel becomes involved with Damiano. As the chapters of B.S. (hint, hint) pile up, Angel realizes that someone is far too familiar with her life. Who is the author and why is he or she out to get Angel? Ginsberg comes across as an insider who is having a lot of fun skewering the seamier aspects of publishing. Although Angelmentions more than once that books about publishing don't sell, Ginsberg's own novel-The Devil Wears Prada meets All About Eve-wants to entertain the masses. Juicy, if superficial and guilty of many of the very tricks it skewers.
“Wicked fun and suspense from a talented new writer with an original, clever voice.”
“If you’ve ever considered a career in publishing, read Blind Submission, a ‘boss from hell’ story that’s as funny as it is frightening. It will make you love your job.”
—Harley Jane Kozak, author of Dating Dead Men and Dating Is Murder
“A wonderful read from start to finish. Ginsberg’s writing is clever and seductive as she spins this tale of psychological peril and illumination.”
—T. Jefferson Parker, author of The Fallen
“Ginsberg brings a fresh voice to her offbeat fiction debut, a novel about novels and the novelists who write them. It’s a taut, fun, complex tale that will keep you guessing till the last page.”
—Patricia Gaffney, author of The Saving Graces
"Juicy...A combination of 'bite the boss with 'bit the assistant'' fiction."
From the Hardcover edition.