“I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut or otherwise mutilate…”

From a story, “The People Have Spoken, and Rice Takes Offense,” by Sarah Lyall in the New York Times:

Lestat, the vampire narrator of Anne Rice’s most recent book, “Blood Canticle,” begins the novel with a harangue against its readers. “What the hell happened when I gave you ‘Memnoch the Devil?”‘ he asks crossly, referring to an earlier novel by Ms. Rice that some readers, to put it mildly, did not like. “You complained!”

Many people did not care much for “Blood Canticle” (Knopf) either, as Ms. Rice found to her mounting horror when she began scrolling through dozens of virulently negative reviews of the book on Amazon.com.

“I cannot stress to you how bad this book is, and I have been waiting for it for so long!” wrote a reviewer from California. . . .

Many authors are upset by the snide tone of some Amazon reviews; Ms. Rice decided to do something about it. She posted a blistering 1,200-word defense of her book on the site, laying in to those critics who, she said, were “interrogating this text from the wrong perspective.”

“Your stupid, arrogant assumptions about me and what I am doing are slander,” she wrote. “You have used the site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies.”. . .

“I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself,” she wrote. “I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me.”

In a telephone interview, Ms. Rice elaborated on the point.

“People who find fault and problems with my books tend to say, ‘She needs an editor,”‘ Ms. Rice said. “When a person writes with such care and goes over and over a manuscript and wants every word to be perfect, it’s very frustrating.”

She added: “When you take home a CD of Pavarotti or Marilyn Horne, you don’t want to hear another voice blended in. I feel the same way about Hemingway. If I read it, I don’t want to read a new edited version.”

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