The Whimsy of Public Interest

I was reading comments on a New York Times review of the newly released movie based on Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The responses were consistent with what I’d seen after the release of the recent Moonlight series, and before that, Harry Potter. As with our American politics, we either love it, or despise it.

I haven’t seen the movie, but as a writer, I’m sure I’m not alone when I observe that we whose obsession it is to string words into stories have always been at the mercy of the public’s whim. Even so, I was appalled, but not really surprised when another NY Times article commented on how the big publishing houses are hunting down writers from Sweden, and can’t shove six-figured checks into their hands fast enough.

I give a great cheer for those lucky writers who get their moment in the sun. It doesn’t matter what country you are from. If the story is there, and the writing supports it, the publishers should give them a chance. My only complaint is that very talented American writers are being overlooked in the publishing world’s drive to print everything Swedish. The bookstores are going to have to reorganize their shelves.

“Yes, Ma’am. We have that book. It is in the Mysteries section, under Swedish writers. And while you’re there, check out the Danish section. They’re almost like the Swedish.”

Don’t say that out loud in front of a Dane.

Clifford M. Scovell
Prison Earth – Not Guilty as Charged


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