Seeing your book flagged up among the bin-ends can't be much fun, but bleaker things can happen
Clive James' poetry has just been published in the US for the first time and this weekend the New York Times was paying particular attention to his piece of literary schadenfreude The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered. The first stanza was reproduced in full:
"The book of my enemy has been remaindered
James might have missed out on the A$100,000 winning the Australian prime minister's literary award would have brought him, but this poem surely deserves a bitchiness prize.
But remaindering - when publishers sell books at massively reduced prices to bargain shops who then offer them at knockdown discounts - happens to most authors at one point or another, whether they are the duds of James's poem or not.