Wednesday, October 30, 1996

I am not Alexander Jablokow

From: Anonymous

I have been a fan since I stumbled into "Yaguara" in Asimov's, and am curious to know if you read a story by Alexander Jablokow in the Dec 95 Asimov's called "Fragments of a Painted Eggshell"--it's not you writing under another name, is it? Thanks for the hours of pleasure your books have given me, and please write faster.

I am not Alexander Jablokow--but if I had to be mistaken for someone else, I could do a lot worse. I just hope that if he's reading this he feels the same way. ("Someone thought I was Nicola Griffith? Urgh!")

I haven't actually read "Fragments of a Painted Eggshell," but now I think I'll hunt it up and take a look. I want to see if I can spot what it was that made you think it's mine. (Any one out there got a copy they're willing to lend me?) I've read one of Jablokow's novels, Carve the Sky, which I enjoyed--but I didn't see any points of similarity with my work. (Then again, I probably wouldn't. One's work is like one's face: one likes to think of it as unique.)

I find it very interesting, though, that you feel the writing of a man and that of a woman are similar enough to have been written by the same person. I don't believe in "women's writing" and "men's writing" _per se_. There is no difference in sentence length, metaphor construction, vocabulary etc., except as and when the subject matter demands. And that's where much of the differences lie--in the subject matter. Women and men often--not always, mind--find different aspects of the same things interesting. What is "Fragments of a Painted Eggshell" about?

As for writing faster, I'm doing my best: I'm about a third of the way through my new novel, Penny in My Mouth*, and hope to have it finished by the end of January. At least that's my contractual deadline...

* which was published, in 1998, as The Blue Place
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