The War Against Cliché
Your Vox Tablet preview
Novelist David Unger recently wrote an essay titled, “How to Get Published When You’re Not a Cliché.” Unger, you see, is a Guatemala-born, New York-based writer whose work is written in English but sells best in translation, in Latin America. His newest novel, The Price of Escape, follows Samuel Berkow, a German Jew, as he tries to find his footing after arriving in the squalid, lawless port town of Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, in 1938. Unger has a U.S. publisher for the book (it came out earlier this month from Akashic Books), but it has not fared so well in other markets. At a recent book fair, as he writes in the essay:
I was told by two different publishers that The Price of Escape was not for them: An Israeli editor said that Israelis are tired of World War II novels with Jewish themes (not what the novel is about) and a Bulgarian said that she publishes only mysteries and Gothic novels from the U.S. So much for my theory of thinking that I am a Latin American.
Their loss. The folks at Vox Tablet found plenty to like in The Price of Escape, and in his previous novel, Life in the Damn Tropics. Unger is the featured guest on Monday’s podcast. Be sure to check it out.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.