Forget the backstory, tell us about the book


Author, Mandy Sayer, speculates in The Specatator that reviewers should focus less on a writer’s own life and more on the text.

Imagine reading a restaurant review that only barely mentions the quality of the food or the ambience of the venue; instead, the reviewer concentrates on gossipy asides about the chef — how much he earns, how much his former wife may have contributed to the menu, or the way in which the chef’s childhood has influenced his choice of produce.

If this seems silly, let’s take a moment and have a glance at the current state of book reviewing in Australia, which, at its worst, appears to be a messy mixture of subjectivity and speculation about the author rather than the text, his publishing advance rather than his prose style.

Read article in full at The Spectator

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