1978 -- Blood Tie

In her autobiographical Learning to Fly, Settle notes that Blood Tie marked another phase of her roller-coaster career. After many novels and twenty years of publishing, she still had no one interested in Blood Tie even as she was on her final draft; and then just when she felt vindicated by the NBA, a number of critics vigorously attacked the decision and the book. Admitting a thin skin and a vulnerability to “that most familiar of industrial hazards as a writer—literary paranoia,” Settle vowed early on in her career to arm herself as best she could “for the diminishing act of having to make public a book on which I have spent several private years”:

I have faced the public a dozen times with a book in my hand, like Rousseau, as a gift that I see being thrown over the heads of the reviewers to the people who want to read it, like contraceptives at Dublin airport.

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