Dear [name redacted], thank you for your recent letter, which asked me to blurb your forthcoming novel, H——, W——, and C——. It was kind of you to enclose a fifty-dollar bill and ask me to spend it on “my heart’s desire.” After careful consideration, I’ve decided to invest the money in mailing your book back to you. The rest will go to Chachi’s, a local bar. There, I will drink Tequila Slammers until I’ve forgotten the ten pages of dreck, which I had the misfortune to read, or until the remaining forty-five dollars runs out. I understand from the contents of your letter that you’re “a fresh voice in the American literary landscape” and that you attended one of the leading M.F.A. programs at W—— State College. Personally, I’m chilled by these “facts” and hope you don’t mention these credentials to others working in the publishing industry. Best stick to your toothy smile and ample bosom—both of these features I took note of in your author photograph and, indeed, Xeroxed to keep for my records.





Photo: Rachel Zimmerman, CommonHealth