I should probably read Prep before I do some kind of a big Curtis Sittenfeld entry, but the beginning of the interview I just linked caught my eye:
Curtis Sittenfeld once reviewed the work of a new author in the online magazine Salon. The author was young, pretty, hyped and - to Sittenfeld's dismay - actually good. Which made the writer easy for Sittenfeld to hate.
So naturally I had to go traipsing through Salon's archives to find out who else Curtis Sittenfeld has had issues with besides Melissa Bank, and it's Nell Freudenberger. Anyway, two years later, Curtis is pretty sure there's sniping going on behind *her* back, now that she's made it to the big leagues. I'm sure there is, too -- but I couldn't begin to guess the ratio of envy to, well, borderline schadenfreude.
My gut response to pretty much anything I've read about Sittenfeld? As someone who's six years older, who hasn't won Seventeen magazine's fiction contest, who didn't go to Iowa, who doesn't have a book deal, who doesn't get asked to review books for the New York Times? Honey, you making me tired, not jealous. You also making me very glad I don't write a lot of literary fiction these days.
Mind you, I get where she's coming from about the whole Pretty with a Book. Thanks to my own background, I also keep current on new releases because (among other reasons) it's possible that at some point I've been in a workshop with or otherwise known a newly published writer. Off the top of my head, I can think of five people who fit that description -- two I'm very happy for, one I'm very not, and two ambivalents. But if I were to write about the phenomena for a mass audience, I think I'd get maybe one essay's worth of mileage out of first person, tops -- and it sure as hell wouldn't be under the guise of a book review.
So, Curtis? My advice? Just write a memoir already. Get it all out, and try to move on.