Desperate Newspapers? Shades of Dickens!

The Trib, aka the Chicago Tribune, is running a serialized story by Chicagoland-based author Audrey Niffenegger. She of, “The Time-Traveller’s Wife.” This one is called ‘Secret Life, With Cats.’ It’s a ghost story, and it’ll be seven chapters, concluding on — Halloween.

Ms. Niffenegger also did the fine illustrations. She told me once that Aubrey Beardsley was an inspiration for her, and I see that in the black and white cats.

Serializing this ghost story at this time of year seems like a fine thing for a newspaper to try. They’ve got to try something. Circulation is down. The Chicago Sun-Times has turned its front page into a third grader’s reader with a childish use of color and odd stories on the front page such as
“The 300 Millionth American!…”

At least the Trib is trying literature and illustration.

Their gambit reminds me that Charles Dickens serialized novels in the Morning and Evening chronicles. He eventually invested some of his royalties into a radical newspaper. I wonder if Niffenegger will?

And to learn more about Audrey Niffenegger, click here and then scroll down for her interview with me, on Hello Beautiful!
-Edwardo

By the way, here are the first few lines of her story…

“I don’t know why Ruth left me her house, with all its attendant complications. Perhaps she sensed that I longed for change, for an adventure. Perhaps she pitied me. Maybe she knew what I would do with such a gift, though I did not know myself.”

Let me know what you think of it. -E

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One Response to “”

  1. Jeanne Says:

    The odd thing about this Niffenegger story wasn’t that the Trib ran it. To me, the more notable element is that the story was TERRIBLE. Just awful. The tension built reasonably well until the end, when it completely fell apart in an ending that was laughably absurd. Did you read it? So the woman was eaten by her suddenly talking cats, then put back together? And all of this was discovered by Beatrice, her friend who ran out the door, had the house demolished, then disappeared? If I’d read this in a night-school writing class, I would’ve panned it. For the Trib to run it… yeesh.

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