When the text came through—"You're going to be reviewed by the NYTBR!"—the acronym didn't make sense. National Youth Tribunal of Bored Raccoons? Notable Yams Toasted, Baked, Roasted?
Because it couldn't be the New York Times Book Review. That NYTBR could not be reviewing my book. That was absurd. I had been told Marilyn Stasio didn't like historical mysteries. Long ago, my parents had worked for the Times magazine—well before Ms. Stasio joined the paper. So long that I hadn't even considered beating the brittle bushes for contacts.
Obviously she would hate it. Or no, she'd like it, but the review would get cut for space. Thomas Harris would shock the publishing world with a new Hannibal Lecter novel and boom, there would go my write up in the Times.
But Thomas Harris stayed quiet and Marilyn Stasio did like the book, albeit with one caveat. I'd like to tell you it wasn't ridiculously affirming—but it was. I'm a New Yorker. The Times was and is holy writ in my house. We may parse, argue, defy and deny it at times. But it's still the New York Times.
You can read the full review here.