Monday, November 21, 2005


Oh, and though I always feel sheepish about this kind of linking, I got a really great review (in MLQ, but it's not available online) of Hypocrisy and the Politics of Politeness. It's by a German eighteenth-century scholar named Vera Nuenning; she makes a few thoughtful criticisms, but on the whole is full of praise, so I'm happy (she calls it "a masterly account of the development of the ideal of politeness and its relation to hypocrisy and dissimulation" and suggests that it "sheds light on a central feature of eighteenth-century culture and should be read by everybody interested in the period"). NB My book came out more than a year ago, but academic journals often take quite a long time to review things--in fact, this is relatively quick--you will often see reviews for books published years earlier. So I'm really pleased about this one.


  1. The day that the review of your book came out in the TLS I was at Foyle's (like always) and they were giving away free copies of the TLS because it was a special day for some reason that I can't remember. Anyway, I remember thinking it was great luck that I got to read a review of a book that I actually knew something about.


  2. Great about the review. I can't imagine what it would be like getting an academic book glowingly reviewed by a fellow academic in an academic journal. Are you clever or something?

  3. More clever at being an academic than at writing novels, I fear! I have been feeling like the novel-writing village idiot recently, though fortunately my revisions are coming along better now...

  4. I hope this post is not inappropriate. It is about my own first novel, "Rarity from the Hollow." It is now (finally) for sale. You can search by title to learn more if interested in science fiction / fantasy.

    "Rarity" received several blurbs, including one by Piers Anthony. A percentage of the profits will prevent child abuse in West Virginia where I work as a Therapist in a children's mental health program. A satirical essay about its self-promotion will be in Wingspan Quarterly by the end of the month (6-06). A sequel has been requested by a small press.

    Thanks, Robert Eggleton

  5. Thanks for letting me mention my novel on your blog last year. I ran across it again today and decided to update you just in case you're interested.

    I'm a therapist in a children's mental health program in West Virginia and wrote a science fiction novel, "Rarity from the Hollow." It was published: as an ebook. A satirical essay about its self-promotion was also published in July by Wingspan Quarterly: Jag Lall, English comic book artist, did the cover pro bono.

    I'm broke and can't afford to promote the novel, so I post anyplace I find that will let me after I get home from work. I'm not complaining because I knew I'd never make much of a salary in the child welfare field. And besides, my work is what inspires me to write.

    "Rarity" has received several blurbs, some of which are on the publisher's site. Others are available, including one by Piers Anthony. One scifi/fantasy site gave me a year's free advertising (it normally charges). A review will appear in Baryon Online in the next edition: The best sentences are:

    "Eggleton has crafted a novel that deals with social commentary mixed with some eerie science fiction and a strange problem that Lacy has to solve to save the universe with the help of her family and her dog, Brownie. I can almost hear a blue grass version of Metallica while reading this. I expect to see more from Eggleton and Lacy Dawn. Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find."

    -- Barry Hunter

    Depending on a schedule, from ten to fifty percent of any profits I receive will be donated to prevent child abuse: Children's Home Society of West Virginia (CHS, Dennis Sutton, Executive Director).

    All of the above info is verifiable and I'll provide any additional info on your request. I'm writing to ask that you check it out and to tell others, mention it to your friends, again on your blog, or whatever you think would help promote it. Advertising is too expensive and ebook publishers don't promote the way that traditional publishers have in the past. Unless one has name recognition, actually, few paper publishers today invest much in promotion.

    Anything that you can do to pass the word would be appreciated. I'm a novice on the internet and have been stumbling around trying to let people know. Sometimes I've gotten myself called spam, which is especially discouraging. However, since it's an ebook, please caution folks not to share the actual novel because it would be like ripping off the kids. The novel just came out, so I haven't received any returns yet, but I'm going to put anything I get from this project into advertising the sequel. That's what all of the scifi/fantasy sites want -- advertising dollars.

    Thanks again,

    Robert Eggleton

  6. I Owe One to Robert Eggleton
    by Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review

    Earlier this year I was contacted by a first-time novelist asking if I would review his forthcoming e-book. If people knew how many requests of this kind editors get, they would understand that out of self-preservation we sometimes . . . well, I ignored it.

    Robert tried again. There was something in the tone of his e-mail. Clearly this mattered to him. So I said yes, I’d take a look, though I didn’t think we could review Rarity From the Hollow. This is all fogged somewhat in memory: in the months since then our magazine moved its office, I was hospitalized for a cat bite (yes, they’re dangerous!), we’ve published several issues, read hundreds of manuscripts, I went to Africa, etc., etc. But as I recall, Robert sent me the first chapter, which begins with two impoverished schoolgirls (from the Hollow of the title) studying together and spelling the word for an adult sex toy. It was quirky, profane, disturbing. I said I’d look at the book, not entirely sure what I could do to help.

    He sent me the whole thing. I read portions of the book, which is subtitled “A Lacy Dawn Adventure,” after the girl protagonist, Lacy Dawn. I liked Lacy, who lives in a world of poverty, classmates with precocious sexual knowledge and/or experience, unemployed men, worn-down women and cruelty so casual that it’s more knee-jerk than intentional. Maybe I was just too bothered by the content, but at a certain point I knew I just couldn’t do anything. Time was nonexistent.

    So I deleted the book.

    Robert contacted me again, and I got soft. You see, there was something about the whole project in general. Robert is a social worker who has spent at least a portion of his career working with child-abuse victims in Appalachia. The book was partly about that, and mostly very strange. In the Hollow, Lacy takes up with an android named DotCom, from “out of state,” which really means out of this world. Under DotCom’s wing, she decides that she will “save” her family. Little does she know she will end up saving the universe. Robert was donating the proceeds from sales to help child-abuse victims.

    Robert is not a kid; he’s maybe my age, maybe older. This wasn’t about youthful ambition, vanity and reputation. It was about some kind of personal calling. I believe in those. I also believe in people who are driven to get their writing out there to an audience, through whatever venue. The e-book idea intrigued me. The earnestness of the appeal got to me. Send the book again, I said. He did. It’s still on my hard drive. (I suppose I should delete it, since I haven’t paid for it.)

    Robert kept after me. If I liked it, could I write a blurb? Yeah, of course. I was fund-raising for my African trip (a Habitat build), teaching, editing, raising three kids. But who isn’t busy? We set our own priorities. I put Robert and his book lower than some other things, which really wasn’t fair because I said I would do something, and I didn’t.

    And it has bothered me. Here’s another thing people don’t know about editors. They sometimes have consciences about books/stories/poems/whatever that they’ve allowed to get lost or neglected in the shuffle of what amounts to thousands of pages.

    So I’m belatedly giving Rarity From the Hollow a plug. Among its strengths are an ultra-convincing depiction of the lives, especially the inner lives, of the Appalachian protagonists. The grim details of their existence are delivered with such flat understatement that at times they almost become comic. And just when you think enough is enough, this world is just too ugly, Lacy’s father (who is being “fixed” with DotCom’s help) gets a job and Lacy, her mother and her dog take off for a trip to the mall “out of state” with Lacy’s android friend, now her “fiancĂ©” (though as Lacy’s mother points out, he doesn’t have any private parts, not even “a bump.”) In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.

    Rarity is published by FatCat Press, which has other e-books for sale as well. You can find it at The blurb on the website says in part:

    Lacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. She lives in a hollow with her mom, her Vietnam Vet dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who's very skilled at laying fiber-optic cable. Lacy Dawn's android boyfriend, DotCom, has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth's earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. DotCom has been sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp: he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save Earth, and they must get a boatload of shopping done at the mall along the way. Saving Earth is important, but shopping – well, priorities are priorities.

    Yes, priorities are. I should have had mine in order. Robert’s book deserves your attention. Check it out.

  7. Rarity from the Hollow Won an Award!

    Please see:

    Thanks again.

    Robert Eggleton

  8. Rarity from the Hollow Won an Award!

    Please see:

    Thanks again.

    Robert Eggleton