Edmund White and the uphill battle for writers
But it’s the uphill battle that authors face that really concerns him. “All authors, their revenue streams are being reduced. Young writers’ chances of starting out in journalism are also slimmer. The Internet’s impact is immense. My students can’t imagine ever paying for a book. I always say to writers who complain about the publishing industry, ‘Just shut up! Say everything’s hunky dory!’ There is a whole industry in America of people who want to write, and those who teach it. Even if the students don’t end up writing, what’s good about them taking the courses is, they become great readers, learning to appreciate the writing. Everyone’s writing, it seems, but no one’s reading,” he says, pointing to the huge number of submissions to literary magazines, versus their minuscule subscriber base.