Who Gets to Write the Review?


“The book review page is an odd cultural territory, often inhabited by such hybrid creatures — unlike their contemporaries in other disciplines, where the lines between critic and artist are more pronounced.”

All readers are book critics, but disseminating literary opinions to the masses is only part of the job description for some of us. It should follow that book critics require a certain kind of someone—one who can identify with readers and authors alike, who can sprawl those two worlds and offer some empathy to both sides of the book. Shouldn’t it make sense then, that novelists review novels?

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