Authors: Explain what you are doing
Readers: Discover what is worth knowing
About half a million books are published around the world each year, but each of us can only read a few. So here is a new way for authors to tell us what are we missing and for us to keep up with new discoveries.
The Muse invites authors to send us a maximum of one thousand words to explain what they consider to be the essence of their book. Our aim is to offer a path around some of the obstacles that writers and readers are increasingly encountering and to connect them more effectively. Reviews can be misleading, or appear only in specialist journals. Many books are never reviewed at all, or never get translated, or never get published, or are misunderstood. So we invite you, if you have published or written a book which is the result of prolonged effort and serious thought, to send us a concise statement of what you believe you have achieved. If you can write in a way that every intelligent person can understand, if you have something to say that can be useful and encouraging to others, and if you want to get beyond the disciplinary boundaries that normally restrict the spread of new ideas, we should like you to arouse our curiosity, not with an advertisement, but with a coherent summing up of what you would like us to understand about your work.
We cannot of course put everything we receive on our website. Authors cannot expect to interest or please everyone. So please send us your text accepting with stoicism and good humour that there is always an element of lottery in the fate of literature. The decisions of the editors of this rubric, to publish or not, will be subjective, possibly stupid, but, regrettably, final.
To start this off, we give a link to eight self-portraits of authors. The Muse has helped to create them, to illustrate what surprising motives and experiences lie behind the writing of one particular category of books. We would be happy to hear from authors in any domain who would like to create similar self-portraits. It is a simple process. These texts are edited transcriptions of conversations between the authors and members of the Muse.