Let me just say, as a fan of small presses and as one whose work has been published by small presses, I think it’s so wonderful that Paul Harding’s Tinkers won the Pulitzer Prize. This novel was published by Bellevue Literary Press, a teeny tiny press out of the NYU School of Medicine that just started publishing fiction a couple of years ago, and only publishes a couple of novels every year.
I recently heard an editor from a major publisher say that if a book at that house sells less than 5,000 copies a year, it goes out of print. Small publishers like Bellevue typically print 3,000 copies or less in the first run, and pay three or four figure advances. This year’s award reminds us that just because a book didn’t get a huge print run or a giant advance, it doesn’t mean it’s minor or bad. It’s also a reminder that some of the best books are published by some of the smallest presses.
One way to get my husband all riled up is to mention the recent scandal involving Tiger Woods. My husband loves golf, and he loves Tiger, and anyone in his position would have had a hard time resisting the women he was supposed to resist.
Those women were, as far as I know, all blonde and of European descent. Like Tiger’s wife. They were all beautiful, I’m sure, but (and here, I may be at the risk of being politically incorrect in this “post-racial multicultural world”) I wonder why Tiger isn’t attracted to Asian women (like his mom) or African-American women (like those on his dad’s side of the family). Not that he has to date or marry within his race. I didn’t, obviously. But it’s got me thinking about my children and the people that they might date and marry.
For instance, I’m intrigued by my daughter’s taste in teen idols. As I’ve mentioned before, she’s hugely infatuated with Sho Sakurai. She also has little crushes on a Tokushima Indigo Socks pitcher that she met awhile back, and on golfer Ishikawa Ryo, and always gets goofy around the male college students who sometimes volunteer at the deaf school. When I ask her about American teen idols – i.e., “Do you think the Jonas Brothers are cute?” – she always turns her head away and waves her hand like a windshield wiper. Which means, “Don’t be silly!” She is basically impervious to the charms of Zack Efron and Justin Bieber, and any other white boy idol who pops up on the Disney Channel. Maybe this goes back to the Electra Complex, and girls tend to go for guys who bear some resemblance to their fathers, at least at first?
I’m not sure about my son, but a Euro-American friend in the States said that her then-teen-aged biracial son seemed to prefer Asian-American girls. But shouldn’t our boys be sort of interested in blonde girls since their mothers are blonde?
Of course I hope that in choosing mates my children will look beyond the surface, and whatever race they end up with is fine with me. But the natural laws of attraction continue to intrigue me.
I wonder what kind of girls Tiger’s son will be interested in fifteen years from now.