Sunday Times has revealed the results of an exercise that deems V.S. Naipaul's Booker-winning In A Free State unpublishable by the current crop of highbrow British publishers.
Typed manuscripts of the novel's opening chapter were sent to 20 publishers and agents. Of the 21 replies, all but one were rejections. Only Barbara Levy, a London literary agent, expressed an interest, and that too for Stanley Middleton's Holiday.
Something about Naipaul. Paul Theroux holds similar sentiments about his last novel, Half a Life.
(Statutory Warning: Viciously poisonous piece (it's Theroux, guys!))
p.s. Now you know why I kept getting them darned rejection slips. Am in utterly august company.