From Something Wrong with Her: A Hybrid Memoir

On October 31, 2012 by Cris Mazza


Yes, I was one, all through (more…)


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  • Sandi

    I love that Cris included a note about how in 2010 another literary magazine, after soliciting her for work, turned it down for not being “exciting” enough. It is reassuring to learn that even talented and successful authors like Cris receive the equally inane feedback that the rest of us do. To this day, the “best” rejection letter I ever received came from The New Yorker, which wrote of one of my short stories—”This is beautifully written and moving in many ways. Not right for us.”

    I kept that rejection letter for years–at first, grateful that at least one editor at the nation’s foremost literary magazines found my writing beautiful. Later, I held on to it for its irony–the idea that work that was deemed both well-written and emotionally moving somehow wasn’t “right.” What was it that they wanted then–work that was poorly written and devoid of all feeling?

    It strikes me that whatever person rejected Cris’ excerpt likely drank too much from The New Yorker’s fountain–too much of what is published in the top literary magazines seem to favor “sensationalist” writing–stories that play to the extremes, the crazier the characters, the more “taboo” the situation–over universal moments that simply make us remember what it feels like to be 22 when most of us, whether we admitted it or not, were still frightened and confused about sex. Kudos to you Cris. The other journal’s loss is our gain.

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