The life of a YA-leaning literary agent is fairly dominated by guilty pleasures, so at the top of the heap, foreground, you can see galleys of new and recent books that I can tell myself are all for work: a terrific new graphic novel from First Second, Anya's Ghost; Chris Lynch's latest, Kill Switch (a road trip involving a dotty grandpa – or is he a retired assassin?); War & Watermelon (1969, Vietnam, Dylan, and the Mets); Dark Inside (ancient evil/scary dystopia); and – from a few years ago – Beastly, Alex Flinn’s irresistible modern take on Beauty and the Beast: just finished it. The editor had actually given it to me for my 13-year-old daughter, but it never got that far.
This table is also a tale of three formats. Buried in here somewhere is a Kindle, which represents actual work to be done – maybe a dozen manuscripts to read from prospective clients – but it also holds suddenly portable e-versions of classics never before tackled, like The Count of Monte Cristo. A dog-eared copy looms there in the background, but I read most of it on screen, on subways and buses, and I feel as though I’ll remember it better, with my vision narrowed to three or four sentences at a time.
Supporting Dumas, unchronologically, is the 10-disc audiobook of Brideshead Revisited (Jeremy Irons), begun on a long car trip. At home, I was admiring the surprising modernism of the later chapters, the cutting back and forth in time, when I realized that someone had left the CD player on “shuffle.”
Just is a literary agent at Janklow & Nesbit Associates.