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August 25, 2008



We've known that you can write powerful stuff ever since ... well, even before you won Mrs. Artes $10.00 poetry prize in 5th grade, I think. That success was followed by the 7th?? grade research paper on bubble gum that you had such FUN researching and writing, when it was supposed to be PUNISHMENT for chewing same in detention, as I recall. I wonder if you will be writing a children's book, to add to your list of publications. And I must beg indulgence for Ms Koningsburg - she's probably my age, and therefore Privileged. Sorry you didn't enjoy the books, though. BTW a spirit level (your old American Heritage dictionary omits the hyphen) is just a level like YF uses - that little bubble in liquid thing. Mom


Mom- I do know what a spirit level is: it's what we use to tell the that the cottage is crooked. What I don't understand is what possessed Ms. K to think it was a good thing to measure the length of a person's cuffs.

She could have said "ruler" - or if she wanted to imply "excessive tool usage", she could have said "vernier caliper", but "spirit level" is just stupid.

And I know she's in her 70s, and I know that humans of all ages make mistakes, but this is why writers have editors. A writer of Konigsburg's status could surely get herself aligned with an editor who would check things like whether words like "spirit level" are hyphenated (I know it's not; her editor missed that) and what those darned things do, anyway. Or which artists were featured in the Degenerate Art show in 1937. And whether people with pink triangles were seen on the streets: that's something a good editor would find out before popping a children's book into the world by an author that a librarian or a parent would believe they could trust to be right. And this is why Konigsburg needs to get a better editor, because the editor that she has is letting Ms. K muck up her own reputation.


I'm so with you on the editor front. It kills me when writers get famous and their books lose their editorial trim. Is it too much ego? Laziness? Or is it the publisher's fault for having editors in awe?


Julia- I read that the editor that she had worked with for years died in 2000; I think that explains a lot. And I think more than ever that it is the publisher's fault for not catching these mistakes.

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