“Have the courage of your desire.” – George Gissing
We knew going into the semester that we weren’t going to get the chance to finish New Grub Street by George Gissing. There simply weren’t enough weeks and it followed the formidable Daniel Deronda on the syllabus. But I wish we had been able to fit the whole thing in and that we had been able to discuss it before we were all so worried about our massive final papers. Written in the late nineteenth century, New Grub Street is an examination of the transforming publishing industry of the time. It is particularly interesting in light of the changes the publishing industry is undergoing in response to the emerging technology of today and the do-it-yourself nature of ebooks. New Grub Street is heartbreakingly honest in its depiction of the challenges and compromises writers face. It is simultaneously encouraging and disheartening for those (like me) who aspire to make a living from writing.