- Dead parents who leave behind shocking secrets. Four this week.
- Books vaguely resembling The Road. Most feature female protagonists who get violent pretty quickly. Sometimes I cheer them on, sometimes I wish I hadn't read the manuscript with lunch. Three so far.
- Hipster fiction. The sort of thing that makes you think of Gary Shteyngart's description of how to behave at a Paris Review party. Not badly written, but not for me. Around four or five manuscripts, to varying degrees. See minute 1:29 in the video below:
I've spoken about the (sometimes disconcerting) way that a number of writers who are not communicating with each other will often send me incredibly similar works in a short period of time. Here's what's been most common this week:
I saw Mr. Shteyngart read a few weeks ago. It was like stand-up comedy hour. He's much funnier in person. In this video, I found him simply bizarre. But his impression of partygoers is, unfortunately, spot-on.