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Publishers Weekly Review ‘Rejected: Tales of the Failed Dumped & Canceled’

In this comic anthology of short essays, rejection veteran Friedman (creator of popular New York reading series “The Rejection Show”) brings together a double-handful of writers and comics (David Wain, Michael Ian Black, Neal Pollack, Mandy Stadtmiller, David Rees, Tom McCaffrey, Kristen Schaal) to share rejected work and their thoughts on it. The criterion for entry is an unpublished piece that has been rejected at least once; rejecting parties range from the New Yorker to television’s Saturday Night Live to the perfect boyfriend to the suddenly silent agent. Entries include sketches abandoned by members of TV’s The State to spectacular bachelor party failures to small, triumphant moments of rejection rejection (for one actress, hope makes a comeback at the local Pottery Barn).The overall quality of the work is remarkable; Friedman allows his writers immense latitude in style and substance while keeping his theme front and center. Though a bit New York-centric, the collection has something for everyone, laughs on just about every page, and an ultimately uplifting spirit; if every rejection is an opportunity, then the chance to be a part of this fine, funny collaboration was probably worth it—especially for readers. (Jan.) Publishers Weekly Review – Rejected: Tales of the Failed, Dumped, and Canceled