Elbowing the Seducer (Paperback)

Elbowing the Seducer By Wyatt Harlan Cover Image

Elbowing the Seducer (Paperback)

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“The tangiest literary-world roman à clef to emerge from the ’80s—it is almost certainly the best of the past four decades . . . Gertler has a high style, a feel for social comedy and a deadly eye for detail.” —Dwight Garner, New York Times

New York, the early 1980s. Newman Sykes is a feared book critic, failed novelist, and savage interviewer, with a must-read monthly column and a weekly segment on the local TV news. His friend and rival Howard Ritchie is a fiction editor whose keen eye and near-lunatic force of will have turned a sleepy university journal into a star factory.

The two men share more than high standards and a hunger for the next big discovery; they also share keys to Newman’s Village pied à terre, where (unbeknownst to their wives) each has his own set of sheets. This unsavory arrangement is strained to the breaking point when Howard receives a story from one “D. Reeve,” a newcomer, who turns out to be the fresh talent they’ve both been waiting for—and a woman with ambition and appetites as ruthless as their own.
Wyatt Harlan (formerly named T. Gertler) lives in New York and is at work on her second novel.
Product Details ISBN: 9781946022400
ISBN-10: 1946022403
Publisher: McNally Editions
Publication Date: January 1st, 2030
Pages: 320
Language: English
Elbowing the Seducer, a first novel of literary life in New York, is so entertaining that I urge you to read it despite the fact that Elbowing the Seducer is a first novel of literary life in New York.”
— Fran Lebowitz

“This first novel represents the debut of an enormously gifted writer, a writer who possesses an assured and distinctive voice, as well as a finely honed ability to delineate the sexual and literary politics of the New York writing community with both humor and verve . . . What distinguishes Elbowing is that it is told from the point of view of a ‘spectator’ ‘at the literary circus,’ who happens to be a woman. And in the course of the book, Dina Reeve matures from a wide-eyed apprentice, vulnerable to the literary and sexual judgments of her mentors, into a determined novelist, fully capable of avenging herself in print.”
— Michiko Kakutani

“I don’t know who Howard Ritchie really is. It’s safe to assume he’s not Carl Bernstein or one of Erica Jong’s zipless discards—though the book will give him heartburn, fear of flying, and a whole lot more as tout literary New York riffles its pages in search of clues to his identity. Author Gertler will doubtless insist that Howard, like rugged plaid-clad novelist Vincent Bask (whose sexual equipment must come courtesy of the National Endowment) and waspish, impotent book critic Newman Sykes (‘the poor man’s Dick Cavett’), is a figment of her imagination. But this is clearly a terrain where truth is no stranger to fiction, where beds are as white as blank manuscript pages and only slightly less likely to be filled with coupling (sometimes tripling) writers, editors, reviewers, agents, and extraneous spouses. Elbowing the Seducer is shrewdly structured to resemble a roman à clef, whether it is or not.”
— Carolyn Clay