Uh oh. Here comes a 180.
After an eye-opening 16 hours in Chicago (full of icy, horizontal rain, incidentally), I've decided not to come here after all. Instead, I'm moving to France.
Why the sudden change of plans? Well, besides the icy, horizontal rain, Chicago is in the U.S. And in the U.S., anywhere I go I'm dealing with a literary market that agents repeatedly tell me is "selective," "challenging," and "tough." I can't escape it.
But in France? Well, look what this fellow got published:
That is a picture of a mole with a pile of shit on his head. This is a story of a mole who is shat upon and ventures through the feces of various farm animals, trying to discover which one laid a big, wet, brown one on his noggin. Somebody picked this up and published it. And now it is a book.
I've uncovered the author's query letter and translated it into English for your benefit.
From Victor Hugo to Jean Paul Sartre, the literary history of France is rich with authors who address unfortunate circumstances. However, no one has ever written about a mole who gets his head shat upon. My book fills this astonishing gap in our literary canon.
The book also satisfies an important requirement of our educational system: that our children understand the differences between small, round poop and big, wet poop, and that they can identify animals by their poop-piles. This skill is invaluable in rural France, where there is a lot of shit.
The first few pages of the book are pasted below. The full manuscript (which isn't much longer) is available for your full review.
Thank you for your time and attention. Enclosed, please find a sample of some shit. If you can't name the animal it came from, then you need to publish this book!
- A french guy"