I picked up my issue of Publishers Weekly and, as I was unlocking the door of my shop, scanned the cover: "Jeannette Walls on Truth & Memory" [Soapbox, Sept. 19]. I flung my keys on my desk and flipped to page 74. Why the rush? Walls's The Glass Castle is my Pulpwood Queens Book Club selection this month. We just spent hours speaking to her—she called all my chapters across the South for teleconferences. This has become the "Pulpwood Queen Book of the Year," and this was before I learned who Walls really was, what she did or how far she had come.
I wrote to Jeannette because I, too, understand when these truly amazing and unbelievable things happen to you as a child and no one believes you. She has gotten it exactly right. Please keep that type of feature coming.
Now you know why I run, not walk, to my mailbox when I see that PW logo peek out at me!
Kathy L. Patrick, Founder, Pulpwood Queens, Jefferson, Tex.
More on Galleys
I appreciate Lynn W. Scanlon's motivation in attempting to stem the flood of galleys going out to reviewers (Soapbox, Aug. 29). But as a book editor for a daily newspaper, I have to say that the suggestion of sending out e-mail solicitations is a bit naive when it comes to book review sections at daily newspapers.
At the Seattle Times, I and book critic Michael Upchurch process and sort 600— 700 books per week. We put out a Sunday book section and contribute reviews and features to the daily paper (sometimes we even get to read a book!). We have no clerical help, other than the kindly assistant who extracts books from envelopes and trucks them to us.
If we were required to fill out request forms for advance copies... well, it just wouldn't happen. As for sending out samples or synopses—you just can't judge the quality of a book by a sample.
I agree with her suggestion that publishers target their mailings; garden books to the garden editor, etc. Most newspaper receptionists can provide that information.
As for the practice of selling galleys—books we don't review or pass on to appropriate staff members are sold at a Christmas book sale, and all the proceeds go to local charities.
Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor
I truly appreciate Claire Kirch's wonderful piece about my bookstore and about my life (Sept. 19), but want to correct the impression she left that I am somehow estranged from Michael Dorris's adopted daughter, my oldest daughter. That is not true. She is a loving person and I am proud of her!
Louise Erdrich, Minneapolis, Minn.