Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Mystery of the Missing Middlebrow

When I wrote my last post in memory of Rupert (and in memory of the Furrowed Middlebrow imprint), I didn't expect to disappear from public view for two and a half months. My apologies to those who have been wondering or worrying about where I am. I hasten to say that Andy and I are just fine, and in fact have been rather busy (including an absolutely wonderful 2+ weeks in Japan in April—what a gorgeous, wonderful place!), which has been combined, for me, with a rather surprising urge simply not to blog for a while. 

Although I have certainly missed the interaction with and inspiration from you lovely readers, I also have to admit to feeling the teensiest bit liberated by not blogging for the past couple of months. In a weird sort of way, I have been actively enjoying
not writing. During the seven exciting and hugely fulfilling years that Rupert and I worked together, the blog (which actually began several years before our publishing collaboration) had, necessarily, started to feel a bit like an extension of our publishing—a terribly useful way of sharing news and the excitement of our new titles, yes, but also sort of merely that, if you know what I mean. My reading was often determined by what seemed most likely to be viable to reprint, my reading time was limited by the work of preparing titles for publication (as well as maintaining a day job—and a marriage!), and my writing about my reading was sometimes limited by our publication schedule (not wanting to reveal too much, or get folks too excited about titles we hadn't confirmed, etc.). With all of that framework and those demands suddenly wiped away with Rupert's tragic loss (and undoubtedly also partly as a result of grieving for that loss), I found myself reacting by not writing anything at all, and—perhaps more surprisingly—barely reading anything of the middlebrow sort either, and not a great deal of any sort. (!!!)

I suspect that what will happen, a little way down the road, will be that the urge to track down and research authors will make itself felt again—the original raison d'ĂȘtre for the blog—along with the urge to report on the interesting books I come across—good or bad, reprint-worthy or not. I will definitely miss that gleeful feeling of discovering a treasure and knowing that, if all the stars are aligned, we might be able to get it back into print ourselves. But I will also enjoy following my instincts and pleasures wherever they lead.

I can't say exactly when the blog will get moving again—I'm going with the flow for now—but there is just a chance that Andy and I will be blowing through London for a few days in September, and it's not at all out of the question that that's going to get me thinking about a return visit to the British Library, which could lead to reading wonderfully obscure books, which could have a ripple effect on my blogging instincts, etc. etc. So do stay tuned.

By the way, my non-blogging going-with-the-flow includes, at the moment, a revived interest in Latin American fiction (an obsession of mine in college and shortly after) and, not coincidentally, a newly re-intensified study of Spanish, with an eye toward reading novels directly in Spanish. Wish me luck with that…

"Hasta luego" for now!


  1. Hooray! Hello! I'm glad you're back here and I'll look forward to hearing about what you're reading when you want to share that. Also totally up for popping down to London in September to say hello again - a trip down Charing Cross Road beckons, I feel!

  2. Lovely to read you again, and know all is progressing in your world. Yes, Rupert's passing deeply affected your life, and you're very wise to realise that, and take the time to heal. "Go with the flow" sounds perfect, and we'll enjoy a peek into that flow whenever it feels right. Hugs to you both - del.

  3. Good to know you are both OK - and yes, after such a big upheaval it is no wonder that you feel both sorrow and relief, and that it manifests as stepping back from the blog for a while. Are you venturing out of London, or will you just be staying in the capital? It would be good to meet up again!!

  4. It's nice to hear from you and I hope you continue to do what is most fulfilling for you!
    I've been hunting down a few bits and pieces that you wrote about some years ago, so that's been nice. And expensive.

  5. Thank you for the update. My best wishes to you and Andy, I can understand your desire for a break from the sorts of blogging you have been doing for many years. I hope you continue to provide an occasional update, and if something "middlebrow" strikes you, you feel the urge to share.

    I will continue to cherish the books you and Rupert were able to make available to us, especially those by D. E Stevenson and Molly Clavering and I better stop listing authors before I do the entire batch.


  6. No worries. We'll all be here when you decide to come back to blogging!

  7. Thanks for the update. Wishing you and yours good travels.

  8. So glad to see you are both okay. It’s strange how you can worry about people you only “know” through the Internet.

  9. I echo what 'Anonymous' said at 8.28am on 31 May. Glad to know that you're both okay.

  10. Hi Scott, Good to hear you're OK. I completely understand how a hobby can at times seem like a duty rather than a pleasure. But you can count on eager readers whenever you do choose to post. Looking forward to more of your discoveries.

  11. Thanks for letting us know, Scott. Take care.

  12. Good to hear about you both but I am sad to say that I shall miss you again if you blow through Londonin the autumn. My next UK visit is scheduled to be early November till just before Christmas.

    But I hope you are still considering the delights of the centre of Europe?

    Take care, both.

  13. So glad to read this posot, and know all is well. AND that you had that wonderful trip!
    I'll miss your blog, but maybe someday???????????

  14. Thank you for this - and all the wonderful writing and books...


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