Sunday, 11 November 2012

Letter to the Agent

Dear _____

I sent you my novel Sally’s Testament last month and received a complaint about the opening sentence: “Cities at night, I feel, contain men who cry in their sleep and then say Nothing.” Your complaint was that this sentence is the opening of Martin Amis’s 1995 novel, The Information. I would like to explain. My use of this sentence dates back to 1994 when my novel was originally a short story, ‘Cherries in Bloom.’ It appeared in New Fiction 8 in modified form: “Cherries at night, I believe, contain pips who cry in their sleep and then say Eat me!” When it came to composing my novel in 2010 I adapted portions of the above sentence for my own use, oblivious to this chance occurrence of the same line in Amis’s novel. I hope this clears up any error and you will reconsider my MS.

Yours obligingly,

Alice McCulloch

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