Books: Polish Joke

How the publishers got stung

Several of us read your untitled novel here with admiration for writing and style. Jerzy Kosinski comes to mind as a point of comparison when reading the stark, chilly, episodic incidents you have set down. The drawback to the manuscript, as it stands, is that it doesn't add up to a satisfactory whole."

Not bad, as rejection slips go. Except . . . what Houghton Mifflin, the rejecting publishers, did not know was that they were on the receiving end of a sting. The manuscript they turned down in 1977 was a freshly typed copy of Steps,...

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