Dear Mrs. Carstensen,
I’m writing because I would like to contribute to your literature section. As thorough as it is ( ’s last review of Pynchon’s Inherent Vice really left no stone unturned), I think it could be benefit from a minority writer. You guys have done a marvelous job of covering the big name contemporary authors of color, but I think there are more minority authors that your progressive audience would love to read about. For instance, I noticed that you have a very meticulous review of Junot Diaz’s , but no review of ’s Brother I’m Dying, which came out around the same time (and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award). I saw a terrific review of ’s Sag Harbor, (which I read with both delight and discouragement), but no review of ’s A Mercy. Those are the gaps I can fill.
Though my experience is nowhere as extensive as say an Andrew O’Hehir or Stephanie Zacharek, I have a few strong suits of my own. One, I am a voracious, eclectic reader. I read everything from to . I’ve gone broke walking out of the Strand with a canvas bag of books (yesterday I bought the Hakawati by among a slew of other goodies). Two, I got one of those Ivy League degrees that may or may not grant me some legitimacy. And three, I’ve written tons of book reviews for seeingblack.com. I'm such a fan of salon.com's writing that I've modeled my reviews after those Laura Miller's.
So, why not give me a shot? I recently wrote a review for Victor Lavalle’s new book Big Machine. It’s being doing well with the major press. It's a 1500 word review in the salon.com voice. I pasted the link to it. Whaddaya say? At best, you’ll have an even more thorough book section with a dedicated contributor. At the very least, you’ll have to write a short pink slip to the author of a mediocre review.
Please let me know what you think--even if it’s one or two sentences—so I know that this letter was not just fired into the response-less ether. Thanks for reading this and hope to hear from you soon!