Plot Isn’t Everything

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At Guernica, Rebecca Saleton, the editorial director of Riverhead Books who has worked with the likes of Hillary Clinton and Peter Matthiessen, talks about her experience in publishing over the last 30 years and how she still believes that readers are, in fact, interested in ideas:  

We can get so carried away with the idea that story is everything that we can forget that people actually want ideas too. They may not want to be clobbered over the head with them, but I have a pretty deeply held belief . . . [that] most of the time people read because they want to think about something more deeply and understand it in a new way.


Claire Burgess’s short fiction has appeared in Third Coast, Hunger Mountain, and PANK online, among others. Her stories have received special mentions in the Pushcart Prize and Best American anthologies, but haven’t actually made it into one yet. She’s a graduate of the Vanderbilt University MFA program, where she co-founded Nashville Review. She lives in Pittsburgh by way of the deep South and says things on Twitter @Clairabou_. More from this author →