Bitter reviewer Liz Breslin: a response

A challenge to Liz Breslin’s hateful writing

by Michael Botur

 

Sigh. Usually I concentrate on the positives around writing – setting examples for other authors; putting out encouragement, praise and support. I put on shows with the Poetry Posse; I encourage people to enter awards; I tutor creative writing in community classes. 

Mostly I’m a pretty positive guy, but the following hit piece by bitter Otago reviewer Liz Breslin, published in takahē #96, can’t go without a response.  

Ms Breslin appears to be a one book author, or a half-a-book author, to be technical. As far as I know, close on retirement age, she has published fewer than 100 pages. 

So, here’s some perspective about the short story collection True?, which received its only negative review from Ms Breslin in takahē #96 in August 2019 – a deliberately cynical, bitter review presumably motivated by …. God knows. 

Breslin writes:

“Whether written in the first, second or third person (all of which are used in different stories across the collection), these stories fail to hit the mark.”

> Yeah, nah –  please see reviews from experienced reviewers who have had training in writing. https://nzshortstories.com/reviews/

“But the writing is often too authorial, poorly proofread and possibly offensive,” Breslin writes. 

> Breslin – who, again, has published very little – appears to have an ulterior motive in publishing her hit piece. Some kind of hate-jealousy-bitterness, probably motivated by how little she has achieved. Not very professional. Let’s read on. 

“The cumulative effect of pages and pages of casual, barely-disguised disability-bashing leaves a pretty sour taste.”

> Considering one of my day jobs recently was organising this year’s inaugural Delivering Disability Services Conference, it’s outrageous to suggest the author has done some “disability-bashing.” I’m waiting on an apology for this particular line. 

“It’s hard for the reader to move beyond offensive cliché and find a place of empathy. “

I have empathy for all my fellow writers in New Zealand, and it would have been nice if this fellow writer of Polish ancestry has shown some empathy for a fellow Pole. Sadly, NZ writer Liz Breslin has brought hate and bitterness into her writing. It’s a shame and a waste.

Again, Liz, I beg you – please get some advice from experienced reviewers who have had training in writing literary reviews. https://nzshortstories.com/reviews/

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