Isabel Allende Thinks We Suck

This post by Steve Hockensmith originally appeared on Inkspot on 2/12/14. From the post:

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the Friendsozoic Era — which is to say the 1990s — my pal Mo Ryan edited a music ‘zine (remember those?) called Steve Albini Thinks We Suck. I always loved that name. Steve Albini was, at the time, the go-to producer if you wanted to grunge up your rock’n’roll for the flannel-flaunting masses. He had what I recall as a surly, mouthy, bad-boy streak — sort of like Liam Gallagher if he’d been born in the States and knew how to spell. So it was easy to imagine him thinking many, many, many things sucked, even the wonderful and talented Mo Ryan. (Mo told me the real reason her ‘zine got its name around 1998 or 1999, which is why I can’t remember it now.)…

I haven’t thought about Steve Albini or the ‘zine named in his honor in a long, long time. But they came to mind this week when I saw some of my colleagues in the mystery world reacting to a dis from Isabel Allende. Allende, as you might know, is a highly successful purveyor of the sort of middlebrow storytelling Barnes & Noble stocks under “Fiction” and some people call “literature.” Perhaps having grown tired of being all literary or examining the endlessly fascinating subject which is herself (Allende’s written at least four memoirs, which seems excessive for anyone who’s not Winston Churchill), she recently made the puzzling decision to write a mystery.

I call it puzzling because Allende’s been promoting her mystery by talking about how much she doesn’t like mysteries.


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