A Prison Poet, and One Author’s Message to the Publisher that Rejected Him

Thursday’s lineup of eye-popping articles and literary brain candy:

Dickens and Tolkien Collaborate? (via Poets and Writers)

The Prisoner Poet (via Poets and Writers)

Letters of Note (via Jason Boyett)

In 1975, Norman Maclean‘s book, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, was rejected by publishers Alfred A. Knopf after initially being green-lit — thankfully, it was eventually released by University of Chicago Press, to much acclaim. Some years after the rejection, in 1981, an editor at Knopf named Charles Elliott wrote to Maclean and expressed an early interest in his next book.

The following letter was written by Maclean, to Elliott, soon after. Maclean later called it, “one of the best things I ever wrote […] I really told those bastards off. What a pleasure! What a pleasure! Right into my hands! Probably the only dream I ever had in life that came completely true.”

(Click the “Letters of Note” link above to read the letter – priceless.)

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Link of the day: A list of literary agents, compiled by the publication, “Poets and Writers”

What blog posts or articles caught your attention this week?

4 Replies to “A Prison Poet, and One Author’s Message to the Publisher that Rejected Him”

  1. For what it’s worth, the Maclean letter is one of my likes for episode #7 of our “9 Thumbs” podcast, so we’ll be discussing it at length — including why the last passage of “A River Runs Through It” is one of my favorites in all of literature.

  2. For real, this letter was the best thing I have read all week, besides my bib number email for the OKC Memorial (half) marathon. Just glorious. I have to send that to my dad. He, the true curmudgeon and fly fisherman, will appreciate it. Well done. The other great thing I read this week was from your lovely bride, in her post about the space between 3 and 33. How is it possible for a family to be so talented. Cut it out. You’re making us look bad.

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