Let Henry James Publish You

maisie henry james

Yesterday feminist webzine The Toast shared a list of 22 ways to tell “…If You Are In A Henry James Novel.” How charmingly practical of them! I must remember to impress the thoughtful editresses Nicole Cliffe and Mallorie Ortberg. <grooms self in mirror for 3 hours>

I’m back! So it seems I am, indeed, a character in a Henry James novel. To review:

“6. You’ve come to a devastating resolution on a train.”

Yes, recently.

“9. In colloquial Italian, your name means something unspeakable.”

Piede squallido, no? Hmm…

“12. You’ve met an aristocrat who is about to change everything for you.”

Lorin Stein. Well, we haven’t met, per se. Technicalities.

“20. English is your first and primary language, but, comme cela se trouve, you frequently employ French to communicate sarcasm.”

Per se!

“15. You are driven by a single, indiscernible desire.”

Absolutely. I think? No, definitely. Not sure what for. But yes.

“21. You may be someone else who the narrator is referring to and you may also be yourself; it is impossible to say at this juncture just who “you” are.”

I don’t have the faintest idea what you are talking about.


So you see, precious reader, there’s no doubt I am a character in a Henry James novel. That’s one way to get published!

(NB – In other news, Neil Gaiman offers his advice via Buzzfeed for how to get published.)



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