Announcing the impending release of the most exciting
collection of REJECTION LETTERS ever written by the Eyeshot Editor and
published by Barrelhouse
THANKS + SORRY + GOOD LUCK REJECTION LETTERS FROM THE EYESHOT OUTBOX
Rejection letters transmitted by the
Eyeshot editor over the past dozen years have been selected from those
previously posted on this site, ordered, cleaned-up, addled with rejections
never before posted, and bound into book form by Barrelhouse
This collection of rejection letters may appeal to:
Humor enthusiasts who leave smart/funny books atop their toilets to
peruse during single-sitting reading sessions and/or to impress house guests.
Creative-writing teachers looking to jazz up their syllabus with offbeat
writing advice that'll surely at least lead to spirited classroom discussion.
Fans of slant autobiographies (gifted/generous readers may discern a
warped portrait of the editor's life as he moves from Brooklyn (Greenpoint)
to the Iowa Writers' Workshop (Iowa City) to Philadephia (Cheesesteak Gardens),
maturing as human being and editor along the way).
Heavy users of Goodreads
looking for something quick and easy to review/rate and thereby accelerate
progress toward their 2014 reading goal.
Platonists (the rejection letters outline an ideal in the editor's mind
-- and we're pretty sure Plato once had something to say about the space
between the ideal and the real).
Former submittors interested in seeing if rejections they received made
Note: for a while we had the above Ornette Coleman record cover in
place of the book's actual cover. For the record, the cover for "Ornette
on Tenor" didn't influence the book's designer -- after seeing the cover,
it occured to the Eyeshot editor person that the font and design scheme
are in the same ballpark and so he thought he'd post this record cover
to associate himself with Ornette Coleman, for obvious
reasons involving in part the superficial attractivity of harmomelodics
more than an understanding of it.
Very few selections from the 224-page book appear
below (and if you scroll all the way down you'll see four nice blurbs)
It’s all intuition. And the “aura” of this one is sort of like a freckly
yellow, which reminds me of bananas, which doesn’t make me want to post
it. That’s a really terrible critique, I realize.
This is juvenile. No.
Learn to spell FELLATIO! I’m not going to post this because it’s not
funny at all. But thanks for sending it.
Just because you have Word on your computer doesn’t mean you can just
type something on a file and send it out. Not to sound like a condescending
a-hole, but it doesn’t really seem like much effort has been expended or
much pressure exerted on the language or much thought put into trying to
affect a reader you’ve never met. So. Thanks and sorry and good luck.
YOU ARE SO ENTHUSIASTICALLY ALL OVER THE PLACE! WHICH IS A GOOD THING!
WE LIKE ENTHUSIASM AND ENERGY! I WOULD SURELY LIKE TO DRINK ESPRESSO WITH
YOU AND RUN AROUND AND CHAT AND THEN HAVE ACROBATIC SPORT SEX. BUT WHEN
IT COMES TO READING WHAT YOU’VE WRITTEN IT’S LIKE TOO MUCH Y’KNOW LIKE
TOO MUCH ENERGY AND ALL OVER THE PLACENESS AND SPORT SEX WHEN WHAT WE THINK
WE REALLY LIKE TO SEE IS MORE CONTROLLED ENERGY NOT MANIA BUT SOMETHING
MORE LIKE DIRECTED FOCUSED EFFUSIONS OF FORWARDLY PROPELLED PROSE IF YOU
KNOW WHAT I MEAN AND MAYBE SOME LIGHT PETTING AND SLOW CARESSES UNDER A
WARM COMFORTER ON A COOL EARLY AUTUMN RAINY MORNING IF YOU KNOW WHAT I’M
Thanks for sending something but it’s really just not the sort of thing
I’m looking to post. I’m really more interested in psychopathic overindulgence
that’s nevertheless innocent and doe-eyed and charming and like totally
Four nice blurbs
Somewhere on the brutal truth continuum between Bill Hicks and Mussolini,
Lee Klein's rejection letters are mini-masterpieces of literary criticism
disguised as no-thank-yous from Writer's Hell. And yet, in each, a little
lesson; a steadfast faith that says "I took the time to read what you created
and this is exactly what I thought." They should be passing these things
out under the pillows at MFA camp; we'd all be better off.
-- Blake Butler, author of There Is No Year and Sky
To “decide” is to “cut,” and Lee Klein in the highly honed collection
of rejections, Thanks and Sorry and Good Luck, wields a drawer full
of gleaming cutlery, edgy edged instruments of decision. Surely, he holds
his pen like a surgeon holds the scalpel. These serrated graphs of glee
and screed are incisive incisions—katana, rattled sabers, sharp-tongued
stilettos of the split-lipped kiss-off.
-- Michael Martone, Author of Michael Martone and Four
for a Quarter
Sometimes writers who succeed against the odds brag about the number
of rejections they've accumulated. A rejection from Eyeshot's Lee Klein
is a whole different badge of honor. Like a letter from a serial killer
on death row, your Tea Party inlaws, or the Pope, they're suitable for
framing and brilliantly repugnant. I kind of want to send him a really
shitty story just so I can get one of these in return.
-- Ryan Boudinot, author of Blueprints of the Afterlife
Lee Klein made me cry. He was the only editor ever to make me. This
was back in 2002. I wish I still had the email. I remember it going something
like, “whenever you have the instinct to write a line like that, delete
it immediately, without prejudice.” I hated him for a while. I pictured
him looking like the guy in that 90’s movie Heavy (the one with Liv Tyler),
except housebound and with no redeemable qualities. Then, somewhere around
2004, I met him “IRL” and he was soft-spoken and sweet. It was harder to
hate him after that. Reading all of these rejection letters here in this
book made me finally fall a little in love with him, I think. I think if
I had had access to (and disassociation from) these letters then, I might
have fallen in love with him then. This is the funniest book I have
read in a long time. It is also the smartest. I feel confused now, like
I’m unsure whether to love or hate Lee Klein. But both of us are married
now so it doesn’t really matter.