Radio Waves daily blog by Two Dollar Radio indie book publisher


Characters must be "treated well, even in fiction."



Seven Days in Rio by Francis Levy (Two Dollar Radio)

Fiction is subjective. You're supposed to have an opinion, and we've always aimed to inspire a reaction in readers, whether positive or negative. We don't want to publish a long list of meh titles, or to have you close a book and say, "that was pretty much very okay." So I understand when a reader might think, this just isn't for me.

You can dislike a book for all manner of reasons, and oftentimes I get, too, that rejection can be tough to phrase. You might say, "X, Y, or Z didn't sit right with me," when really you were being gentle in your rejection because it was the whole she-bang that felt off.

This spring, I did hear of a response to one of our titles that reminded me of an episode from a couple years back when we published a book called Seven Days in Rio by Francis Levy. It's a satirical novel about a sex tourist who is waylaid at a psychoanalytic conference in Rio de Janeiro.

A reporter for Brazil's major daily newspaper, O Globo, read a favorable review at Chuck Palahniuk's The Cult website, and then asked Brazilian government officials what they thought of the book. These officials said they were demanding an apology for the book's publication from the U.S. Embassy, and were quoted as saying that Brazilians must be "treated well, even in fiction."

That was a surreal couple of weeks. (Right up there with that time a famous actor threatened to sue us for applying his own stated artistic philosophy.) You can read an article at Publishers Weekly that quotes me as saying, “I feel like I’m living in an Onion headline,” which I believe sums it up nicely.

Of course the idea that characters "must be treated well, even in fiction" is an absurd sentiment that most of us would scoff at. Literature is supposed to take chances, otherwise nothing is at stake. It reminds me of a quote by Albert Einstein that I love, which you can find on classroom motivational posters around the world: "A ship is always safe at the shore but that is not what it is built for."

Posted by Eric Obenauf on 26 May, 2016 Francis Levy, Seven Days in Rio, Two Dollar Radio | 0 comments
Previous post Next Post

Comments

Let us know what you think here:

Hi there!

Two Dollar Radio is a family-run outfit founded in 2005 with the mission to reaffirm the cultural and artistic spirit of the publishing industry. We aim to do this by presenting bold works of literary merit, each book, individually and collectively, providing a sonic progression that we believe to be too loud to ignore. Check out the ABOUT US section to read more...

Radio Waves daily blog by Two Dollar Radio indie book publisher

Latest posts

  • The Death-Rattle of Culture | 6/23/17

    Snake venom may be the secret to immortality Books by Barack Obama's father come up for auction Slipknot singer says Nickelback singer is an idiot who has "a face like a foot" Bill Clinton and James Patterson collab on mystery... Read more →

  • Design of the Week | Big Thief

    Big Thief has a new album, Capacity, out on Saddle Creek Records. It's been received by literal glowing reviews.  Like, the album is the equivalent to molten hot lava swirling in the sky with the Northern Lights. It almost feels holy. Pitchfork... Read more →

  • The Wire | Zeroville

    Steve Erickson is a legend. Thanks to Eric, and the nice people at Europa Editions, I recently started reading Zeroville. The book is being turned into a film directed by James Franco starring Franco, Seth Rogen, Jacki Weaver, Megan Fox, Will Ferrell, and Danny... Read more →