Friday, March 16, 2018
Added to my e-bookshelf … The History of British and American Author-Publishers
Through my tenure as an Early Reviewer for LibraryThing, there is only one book that I have failed to read through to the end ... but, there have been a few where I came close, where I persevered and completed my read, cover to cover, even though there were moments I considered calling it quits.
To this small - really, very small group - I am adding Ana Faktorovich’s “The History of British-American Author-Publishers,” published by Anaphora Literary Press.
I read the book through to the end, and I’m glad I did. Faktorovich’s biographical research into the selected author-publishers was exhaustive, and from it I gleaned more that few added glimpses into their lives that were unknown to me before opening the book.
Also ‘exhaustive,’ I’m afraid, is Faktorovich’s pursuit of her thesis about the challenges facing author-publishers over the past 250-or-so years ... corrupt business practices, royal and political censorship, market control and cultivated contempt by what she labels ‘the Big Four’ publishing conglomerates, even the stuff of intrigue - the exhaustive part for me - suggesting the possibility of attempts to corrupt an individual’s mind/body/spirit through various practices, up-to-and-including assassination.
Profile after profile, life story after life story, theory after theory. More than once, I reached a point where I’d think, “sheesh .... okay, I get it ... enough already!”
Some points are totally believable, as they continue to this day ... corrupt business practices, royal/government censorship, market manipulation by conglomerates. But the rest? I’m not so sure.
If there was something to gain from all of this, it was the increased respect I have for individuals who struggled against a variety of challenges to bring their work to the public’s recognition and acclaim ... though in some cases, that all came too late for the individual.
Story by story, chapter by chapter, Faktorovich is consistent in sharing these stories of struggle in a way that earns my added appreciation and respect for these author-publishers ... which is why the last chapter (“Chapter 14: A Quest for Inter-Racial Equality: Alice Walker’s Wild Trees Press”) before her ‘Conclusions’ left me scratching my head. This was one individual whose career - as related by Faktorovich - did NOT gain my respect.
Was it offered as an example of that saying, about “the exception that proves the rule?” I don’t know ... and I have never had much use for that saying, anyway.
To conclude, I recommend this read, and I recommend reading it all the way through. But I also recommend patience, and maybe planning to take a little longer to finish than you might expect ... give yourself time to take a break and catch your breath, maybe enjoy a cup/glass of your favorite beverage, before diving back in.
NOTE: I received a free e-copy of this work through LibraryThing in exchange for a review.