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Sunday, September 15, 2019

"The Orange" as an illustrated book

Paul du Codray and Beth Haidle of Mascot Studio have launched a kickstarter campaign for a book called "The Orange Who Ruled The World", based on my story "The Orange". It's illustrated lavishly and with verve and whimsy by Belgian artist Charlotte Dumortier.

You should check it out! It looks amazing!

I expect "The Orange" is my best-known story, having been reprinted in Harper's and Flash Fiction Forward, as well as in my collection; podcast at Podcastle; read by John Cameron Mitchell for the "Selected Shorts" series, and in Dutch by Marcel Faber as part of the Uitgelezen Verhalen series; translated into Dutch again, Farsi, French, German (by a school class), and Romanian; painted and typographied as amazing fan art; and won Best Animated Short 2010 in the form of an animated film by Nick Fox-Gieg (which got half a million views on YouTube, along with many many "wtf did I just watch" comments).

It's about 300 strange little words long, I wrote it one morning in a daze along with 19 other weird tiny stories that never went anywhere, and, historical note, it got rejected from dozens of places, including various now-defunct semiprozines.

I do not tell you this, dear reader, in order to assert that the various now-defunct semiprozines were wrong, and I was right, and that I may now laugh the last vindicatory laugh. Nope. I think the taste of the editors of the now-defunct semiprozines was every bit as good as the taste of the pizza-chomping grad students at University of Utah who (I'm told) selected "The Orange" for publication in Quarterly West during a Mountain-Dew-soaked all-night mauscript-binge-reading session. Their taste was just different.

My point -- the thing I learned from this story's odd career, when I was a baby writer -- is that taste is a strange and varying and mysterious thing. So, any baby writers out there reading this, please don't treat rejection as some kind of absolute judgement from Those Who Know, because even your strangest little spasm of words may be lucky enough to find its audience.

Posted by benrosen at September 15, 2019 11:29 AM | Up to blog
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