Observer Looks Under the Hood at The New Yorker‘s Literary ’20 Under 40’

Today’s New York Observer has an in-depth look at The New Yorker‘s upcoming June 7 fiction issue, which names its pick for the 20 most important American writers under the age of 40.

Along with a lot of “how the sausage gets made” insights, the piece offers some metaphorical color from a potential honoree:

“I imagine it’s about analogous to a hot Jersey girl getting into a trendy nightclub,” said one novelist who is eligible for the list but does not expect to get on it. “You know, not everyone gets in, and it’s something. It’s not nothing. But even after getting in, she’s still got to be lucky as well as ready to pounce. Will Puff Daddy see her dancing … and then set her up with some kind of TV show or clothing line? Possibly. Or will she stand around uncomfortably, get drunk and then take the long ride back across the river in the early morning?”

The Observer has also put together a jokey list of the “20 under 40” also-rans — writers unlikely make The New Yorker‘s list. It includes Dave Eggers and Sam Lipsyte (too old), Gossip Girl author Cecily von Ziegesar (too downmarket), Ana Marie Cox (too bloggy) and Opal Mehta author Kaavya Viswanathan (too plaigiaristic).