Back from our summer hiatus and catching up with some things we've been meaning to post. Here's an item that's really fun: a profile of Stephen Benatar at the BBC World Service. If you've read any profiles of our lovely and lively living author, you know that he has sold thousands of copies of his books simply by charming the pants off of unsuspecting bookstore shoppers—and even that that's the way we found out about Wish Her Safe at Home. Well here a reporter shadows Mr. Benatar as he pitches his books at a London Waterstones with mixed success but without losing his charm.
Listen to the profile of Stephen Benatar at the BBC World Service
(start listening at the 9:96 point)
Speaking of the abysmal sales of even the most deserving writers, Library of America's newish blog reminds us on the anniversary of the publication of Walden that even the überbestseller Henry David Thoreau suffered from lack of recognition. As Thoreau notes in his Journal, the publisher of A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers returned to him 706 copies of the initial 1,000 print run: "I now have a library of nearly 900 volumes, over 700 of which I wrote myself."
But back to Stephen Benatar, who wouldn't have us writing about other writers when we're supposed to be writing about him. In a post titled "On My Debt to Stephen Benatar, British Novelist," Anne Britting Oleson describes meeting the writer in 1989, when he was an umbrella salesman and writes about their brief correspondence and how his encouragement helped her in her own writing.
Not mentioned in any of Stephen Benatar's recent press is the happy news that Capuchin Classics will be reissuing another of his books, When I Was Otherwise, in the UK next year.
Stephen Benatar's Wish Her Safe at Home is currently part of the "Unforgettable Women" collection at nyrb.com—which means that you can get it (along with books by Brian Moore, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and Janet Hobhouse for a mere $36.51).