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March 21, 2008


A fantastic book!

I am the editor who worked with Charlie to publish Orphans. I am also the editor who commissioned 2/3 of the essays over the previous three or four years. Knopf had nothing to do with the genesis of this book. It exists because of Charlie and Clear Cut Press. Charlie signed a contract to publish Orphans with Knopf well after he and I had worked together with publisher Rich Jensen to make the Clear Cut Press edition.

Your friend is wrong about Charlie's disagreements with Clear Cut. I can't speak for Charlie, but he worked with the press happily well into the first few months of the book's publication; then he became unhappy about the press's approach to publishing, specifically our failure to give him a written contract. I don't blame him, but that is a far cry from Clear Cut "fucking him" or denying Knopf a chance to market the book.

Clear Cut was very happy to have Knopf market Orphans, but Charlie withdrew from his contract with them. I understood, at the time, that he felt Clear Cut had taken some of the market Knopf was counting on. I disagreed with his assessment, but ultimately it was his choice. Check with him on this, if you're interested. Otherwise, please don't post comments that do damage to what was ultimately a well-intentioned, if flawed, attempt to bring some great writing into print.

UPDATE: For Charlie D'Ambrosio's own version of the story, check out the Isak follow-up, 'Update on Orphans, Part II,' at: http://isak.typepad.com/isak/2008/04/update-on-orpha.html

Great post. I was looking up nationwide modular homes when I came across your post. I am glad I did because I never heard of any of these books or the author. I am always looking for a new book to read. I will have to check some of these out. Which one do you recommend I start with? Thanks for sharing.

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  • Isak is a space to celebrate tales and truth in the curious, joyful way embodied by the writer for which it is named. The name "Isak," after all, means "laughter," as she was fond of pointing out.

    By tales, I mean fiction (especially short fiction), as well as other literary and artistic narratives. By truth, I mean the world in which we live. I especially have my eye on creative social justice.

    Isak: The Extended Version
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