Those Presumptuous Blurbs

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How do you pare down a novel into a pithy, attractive two-to-three word sentence? Nobody has really mastered the art of the back cover blurb and many esteemed literary figures have had their work inaccurately summarized and oversimplified to fit into blurb form.

In this Millions essay, Sonya Chung expresses her frustrations with the back cover blurbs on the back of Richard Yates’ The Easter Parade, namely the moralizing tone the blurbs impose on the novel.


Sam Riley is an adult who works at McSweeney's. More from this author →