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Read Your Work

Fall is upon us, my children are back in school, and I am actively looking for new material.

As ever, I’m on the hunt for plot driven literary fiction—think Ann Patchett’s STATE OF WONDER or David Mitchell’s THE BONE CLOCKS, but I’m keen to find more than fiction.  I represent a real range of narrative nonfiction, including but not limited to memoir, big-think economics, women’s issues, history, science (and history of science) and lots of other subjects besides.

Perhaps it is ironic (given that there are many writers who might rather give them up) but I am particularly interested in people’s day jobs.  If it so happens you are seated beside me at a wedding, I’m the gal who is happy to hear you go on and on about your job, so long as I can pepper you with questions. For me, shop talk beats small talk, and most people are better at discussing their work than the weather (unless you’re a meteorologist). This past month saw the publication of two books by clients of mine who were writing about their work: Judy Melinek and TJ Mitchell’s WORKING STIFF, about Judy’s training as a forensic pathologist, and BEHIND THE GATES OF GOMORRAH: A YEAR WITH THE CRIMINALLY INSANE by psychiatrist Stephen Seager.

Being an agent is usually regarded as a selling job–and it certainly is that.  But before the pitching can commence, ours is a listening job.  So if you’ve got an interesting career (vulcanologist, code-breaker, bike-messenger, rock-climber, epidemiologist, hostage negotiator, hotel manager etc. etc.) have a story to tell and the ability to tell it, I’d love to read your work.  Literally.

3 Responses to Read Your Work

  1. I stumbled onto you on Twitter. Nice to see you’re there. Give Jim McCarthy a hello and pass on the link below.

    I’m in the news (in a minor way) today at http://www.prleap.com/pr/228335/the-new-book-publishing-challenge-video-

  2. I work in the residential section of a boarding school for children-22 year olds with profound cognitive, linguistic and learning disabilities.

  3. I’ve worked with a human rights organization since 1993, serving on assignments in Haiti, Washington, DC, Palestine, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and with indigenous nations in the U.S. and Mexico. Most of my time since 1995 has been in the West Bank city of Hebron, although sadly, I still speak pidgin Arabic. I was denied entry into the country from 2002-2007, during which time I wrote a history of my organization, but that’s still no excuse. My vocabulary is rather specialized. I can ask someone if they were attacked by a soldier or settler, and how many tanks they saw, but not what they’re watching on TV.

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