Thursday, February 9, 2017

Welcome John Bowers to TBA!

Hi all, I’m thrilled to begin building a list here at the Bent Agency.  We already have an amazing roster of writers, and it will be my great pleasure to find talented authors of adult literary fiction, science-fiction and nonfiction to join under the Bent Agency banner. 

You can learn a little bit more about me here, and take a look at the agency’s submission guidelines here.  For those considering sharing your work with me, the following should give you a good sense of my overall tastes. 

In general, I’m most intrigued by fiction that:

·      Is smart, edgy, and dark
·      Is timely (particularly politically)
·      Features an unreliable narrator
·      Is atmospheric and gritty
·      Delves into conspiracy theories
·      Features down-and-out characters (especially from the South), but crafts them so that they 
       exist well beyond stereotype
·      Has a charged sense of hyper-realism
·      Offers a character-driven story with a sweeping, historical scope
·      Evokes a sense of internal and/or civil unrest
·      Treats the lives of regular people as though they existed on a grand scale

With that said, here’s some of the fiction that I love: 

·      STONER by John Williams
·      ALL THE KING’S MEN by Robert Penn Warren
·      THE SHIPPING NEWS by Annie Proulx
·      BARKSKINS by Annie Proulx
·      COMING THROUGH SLAUGHTER by Michael Ondaatje
·      SUTTREE by Cormac McCarthy
·      FAY by Larry Brown
·      THE OPTIMIST’S DAUGHTER by Eudora Welty
·      ABSALOM, ABSALOM! by William Falkner
·      THE SOUND OF THINGS FALLING by Juan Gabriel Vasquez
·      100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
·      CIVILWARLAND IN BAD DECLINE by George Saunders
·      THE DISPOSSESSED by Ursula Le Guin
·      THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood
·      WHITE NOISE by Don DeLillo

As far as nonfiction goes, I’m looking for books that:

·      Help us understand the world
·      Showcase hard truths
·      Uplift and enlighten us

Some of the titles that have most affected me include: 

·      THE WORST HARD TIME by Timothy Egan
·      FACTORY MAN by Beth Macy
·      ALL THE SHAH’S MEN by Stephen Kinzer
·      KING LEOPOLD’S GHOST by Adam Hochschild
·      RIVER OF DOUBT by Candice Millard
·      THE ASCENT OF MONEY by Niall Ferguson
·      THE POWER BROKER by Robert Caro
·      DIRTY WARS by Jeremy Scahill
·      THE LOOMING TOWER by Lawrence Wright
·      OUTLIERS by Malcom Gladwell
·      MONEYBALL by Michael Lewis
·      BARBARIAN DAYS by William Finnegan

For anyone curious about my tastes beyond books, I enjoy:

·      Literally every one of the Coen brothers’ films
·      Westworld
·      Mr. Robot
·      The Wire
·      Hypernormalisation
·      Citizen Four
·      Ex-Machina
·      All of Wes Anderson’s films (but not equally, and yes, it’s true)

Alternatively, here’s a short list of what I’m NOT interested in: 

·      Epic, high fantasy
·      Space opera (I like science-fiction, but the kind that’s geared towards the near future and 
       is also technology-based.)
·      Stories that romanticize a particular time or place
·      Stories that primarily explore the lives of college students

If you have something you think I’ll like, I’m currently open to queries and invite you to query me at  I’m very much looking forward to the stories you have to send me.  

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! 


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