Bestsellers Rejected Many Times Before Acceptance


Source of graphic: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.

(p. W2) Leonard Mlodinow’s book “The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives” explores how chance controls the world. In one chapter, the author, who has a doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a former writer for “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” looks at the number of big-time writers whose early works were, at first, rejected by publishers. He mentions how authors such as Vladimir Nabokov and Sylvia Plath suffered rejection. “Many books destined for great success had to survive not just rejection, but repeated rejection,” Mr. Mlodinow writes. “There exists a vast gulf of randomness and uncertainty between the creation of a great novel…and the presence of huge stacks of that novel…at the front of thousands of retail outlets.” Below, some examples he cites of rejections for authors who went on to become famous.

For the full story, see:

Robert J. Hughes. “ADVISER; What’s ‘Happening’; CULTURAL FIGURES | Books; Randomness and Rejection.” The Wall Street Journal (Fri., June 13, 2008): W2.

(Note: ellipses in original.)


Source of book image:

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