Friday, February 13, 2009
Jo vs. Amy
Here's the central dilemma of my publishing life. Am I Jo or am I Amy? Meg I'm not, as I have never put up jam or borne twins. Beth -- well, anyone who thinks she's Beth makes me worried. (I do know that at least one extremely powerful woman in publishing claims she's a Beth, but I have never seen her take a stitch, much less embroider slippers.)
But I am on the horns of the Jo vs. Amy dilemma. Which horn I'm gored by will determine much of my future.
Like most readers of literary press blogs, I thought I was Jo. For years. I wrote romances (The Adventures of Charles and Caroline). I used a fountain pen. I was earnest and bookish. I dated men with foreign accents who drank strong coffee and dosed strong medicine to anemic prose. Argumentative and proud with a strong, even crippling, mutinous streak. That's me.
Other times, I Amy'd it right up. Trips to London and Paris. Impeccable manners, fine conversation. Kid gloves, button-up boots, high moral standards. I'm sure I would have loved pickled limes, too. Amy wanted the manor house and the large staff and the oh-so-good-looking boy who adored her. Lunches at Union Square Cafe and the Hotel Baglioni in Bologna. That's me too.
So who's it to be? Can one person be Amy (employee incentive plans) and Jo (McSweeney's) at the same time?