Robert Clark Young is fast becoming one of my favorite writers. Below is a review I’ve done of one of his award winning essays, “One Writer’s Big Innings.” Enjoy the review, but more important, scoff up $2.99 to read some wonderful writing. Thank you.
I will send a dollar to anyone who does not fall out of his or her chair laughing while reading Robert Clark Young’s essay, “One Writer’s Big Innings,” about his quest to become a published, and hopefully, famous, author. You don’t need to be a writer to fully appreciate the brilliance of the writing, the well-wrought story lines, and the hilarity of the cast of characters in his life. While a must-read for any aspiring writer, this is an essay for readers, meaning anyone who loves a good story well-told.
The essay, originally published in Black Warrior Review, won Best of the 1990s Award for Nonfiction, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and is now available for Kindle at $2.99. There aren’t a lot of great things you can buy for $2.99, but this essay is one of them. Clark Young takes care of his elderly parents who both suffered strokes more than three years ago and is using the proceeds from his Kindle sales to help them remain in their home during their final years.
Clark Young name drops the big names: Ginsberg, McMurtry, Pynchon, as he and other aspiring writers scheme to get in good with the big boys of the literary world — but they never stand a chance. While attending a reading to see and network with Gore Vidal, Clark’s less than brilliant girlfriend at the time asks, “What’s a gorvey-doll?”
As Vidal is whisked away quickly after his public appearance, writers (with Clark Young the exception) begin looting the bookstore, so angry are those with publishing aspirations that they didn’t get to network with the famous Vidal. Clark expresses his outrage at the behavior of his fellow writers, but it’s not long before you read of him stuffing autographed galley copies (perhaps worth $1,000 a piece!) down his pants when he visits author Larry McMurtry.
Clark Young has had numerous hilarious encounters with women, publishers and famous authors. Find out who killed Raymond Carver, for example, because the answer is in this essay! You will fall out of your chair in laughter and be moved by Clark Young’s story all at once. I don’t think I’ll be giving up even one dollar because there won’t be any disappointed readers of this essay.
Thanks for the recommendation, and I always appreciate a worthy cause (not that supporting a writer is any less worthy than supporting his aging parents). I’d be reading the essay already if one of those liberally-sprinkled hyperlinks pointed to it. Does WordPress generate those, or did you? At any rate, I’m off to look it up.
Bridget, I knew I forgot something. I will add a hyperlink to Amazon. You’ll be next up to bat for reviews, once I am able to read your book. Thanks for continuing to read my blog. Cindy
I LOVED this essay! Thanks for promoting it, Cindy — it’s so funny and heart-warming and great…and it makes you laugh at yourself as well as the author.
I agree, Faye, I loved the essay, too. Funny, satirical, self deprecating, and touching. I’ve downloaded another of Robert’s pieces as I’m quickly falling in love with his work.