Pigeon graphic bysoundalone.net/


About the Author (I promise you will be disappointed)

Ever consider the possibility that the biography of an author maybe doesn't matter so much? After all, to this day, we know virtually nothing about, say, Thomas Pynchon or J.D. Salinger, and it certainly worked to George Eliot's advantage that people didn't know her biography. And there's ongoing debate over whether all of Shakespeare's works were even written by the same person. And if we can't say much about the biography of Shakespeare, then why do we care about anyone else?

Let's set aside the trope of the mysterious genius author who we know little about though. More interesting than that is the notion that a great work might come from anyone or anywhere. Transcendent "outsider" work is the most unique and interesting writing there is. My writing is not that. But I acknowledge a desire deep within myself that it were. As a half-measure towards that, I try hard in all my writing to keep a grip on accessibility and clarity while at the same time trying to let go of the need to conform to convention. My dream is to see the punk-rock DIY aesthetic brought to modern writing. Along with that, I'd like to see authors judged more on the qualities of their writing than on the personal brand of the author, the number of followers, or credentials bestowed by some arbitrary authority like a university. I don't think people who have never written a book should get a fat advance from a publisher because they have half a million followers on youtube. And I really don't want amazing books written by people with no followers on any platform to languish in obscurity. I don't know how to achieve any of this, but surely there must be a better system than rate-my-book: 0-5 stars.

A worse thing yet is the use of the author bio as a way to project the reader's own fantasies about what their life might be onto the author — as a way to sell books, no less. The attractive, stylish author in the headshot on the back of the book, the "writer living in Brooklyn," the ivy league educations, and the privilege of having the time to write a novel because someone else has paid the expenses of living. This stuff has got to be stopped or the only books we'll be reading are ones written by the worst kinds of people. It ends here. Or, since trying to stop this is a real pissing-into-the-wind effort, I'm just not going to continue right here.