THE POET'S FUNERAL
Daniel (Play Melancholy Baby ) turns the 1990 Las Vegas ABA convention (now known as BEA) into a murder site in this delicious sendup of the book trade. The meteoric rise of beautiful poet Heidi Yamada begins with the conversion of Guy Mallon, Santa Barbara bookstore owner, into Guy Mallon, publisher. Clever, blatant and aggressive self-promotion wins Heidi a critic here and an agent there. Add a major publishing house and a star is born. But instead of receiving a major literary award, Heidi winds up dead at the ABA ("of an apparent drug overdose," according to Publishers Weekly ). In their eulogies, her mentor, her agent, her various publishers and the critic who first hailed her, among others, reveal the Heidi they knew. Each adds a piece of the puzzle that Mallon will eventually decipher. The author lampoons everything from the overstuffed "collector's editions" to the self-importance of critics and the self-interest of publishers and agents as he parades a growing list of suspects in Heidi's demise. Daniel's sharp, sardonic wit and insider's view of book industry foibles are sure to make this bibliomystery a hit. (May 9)
FYI: Daniel is also the founder of the small press Daniel & Daniel.