Twitter account quickly became the subject of the very industry dirt on which it reports
Because the editor of this fine institution has tasked me with covering the publishing industry, I get extremely into literary Twitter. What author gets a big publishing contract, who’s calling out whom, which new title is overrated–I scroll through it all and mainline it directly into my brain, filed next to the early 2000’s song lyrics and other minutiae I will never use. Thankfully, my labors just got a little easier: there’s a new Twitter account in town.
@LitGossip popped up last month “[f]or when you can’t figure out what the hell lit[erary] twitter is gossiping about,” according to their bio. The account retweets and explains what our favorite authors and critics are fighting over today, and crowdsources information and screenshots from their DMs.
“Discourse about value/purpose of negative reviews popping up, seemingly because of that embarrassing sounding Hillary novel,” they tweeted this week about Curtis Sittenfeld’s new novel, Rodham, that imagines what would have happened if Hillary hadn’t married Bill Clinton. The tweet included screenshots of understandable dunks on the premise:
Discourse about value/purpose of negative reviews popping up, seemingly because of that embarrassing sounding Hillary novel. pic.twitter.com/cwyhEkxJGb
— Lit Twit Gossip decoded (@LitGossip) May 20, 2020
It only took a few weeks for the account to start generating its own lit twit drama. Because of course it did.
Writer Jami Attenberg tweeted a complaint about reading galleys in a digital format, the account weighed in, tweeting, “Gotten a couple DMs about this. What and how authors choose to blurb is their choice but given the circumstances of the world and publishing industry atm it seems like a small sacrifice to read an ebook, especially if it will help debut writers.”
Attenberg later clarified that she didn’t diss e-readers as a matter of preference, but rather her eyesight, and literary twitter elites came to her defense:
There is the matter of eyesight issues! I’ve been doing my best with digital (for lots of things, not just e-galleys)—but it *is* actually harder to look at PDFs & such
— Esmé Weijun Wang • 汪蔚君 (@esmewang) May 6, 2020
“Is this gossip?” replied writer Lincoln Michel.
“this seems like a dumb waste of everyone’s time,” said another tweeter.