The Zen of Oz
Viennese Types

Dear Lolita,

I read a review of my book, The Zen of Oz, in your recent publication of RALPH. Your reviewer panned the book, claiming that the book does not succeed as satire or humor. That is because the book is not meant to be a satire. I thought you should know.

Joey Green


Go to the review of
The Zen of Oz


§     §     §

Dear Ms. Lark,

I just now stumbled upon your review of my book, (or, rather, Emil Mayer's book), Viennese Types. Thank you!

I am most interested to know how you heard of the book. And please, tell me a bit about RALPH. Who are your readers? Do you have a large audience?

Naturally, I am always trying to get the word out about the book --- which I consider one of the most beautiful photo books ever made (thanks, in large part, to the designer, Carl Zahn)

You might be interested to hear that the book was named one of the 50 books of the year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts).

Ed Rosser

Go to the review of 
Viennese Types


Our editor responds:

I am most interested to know how you heard of the book.

We read "ALA Booklist," "The NYT Book Review," "The LAT Book Review," and the "London Review" and "TLS." We check off any interesting titles, and send off for them. If they come, we try to review them.

And please, tell me a bit about RALPH. Who are your readers? Do you have a large audience?

This is the most recent poop sheet, the one we send out with book requests to publishers:

A Brief Description of

RALPH: The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities

The book review magazine RALPH has been online since the winter of 1994-1995, at


We see our task as finding and reviewing books generally ignored by other media, to give our readers a chance to know the rare, the unusual, and the thoughtful.

We try to review books as honestly and as directly as possible, in the tradition of the TLS, the New Yorker, the Observer, the New Statesman, and Saturday Night Magazine.

Our literary predecessors are reviewers as diverse as Edmund Wilson, Virginia Woolf, and H. L. Mencken. We try to be untouched by literary trends, to hew to the truth as we see it.

RALPH also publishes worthy poetry, interesting readings, and articles --- mostly wry and insightful --- on a variety of subjects (including travel pieces from various parts of the world). We also have a lively "Letters" section, so that those who disagree with our reviews can express themselves freely and noisily.

We garner between 50,000 and 75,000 hits a month and, on the basis of our on-line reviews, some of our writers have gone on to write for other media, including salon.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, and New Mobility.

We also put out "The Folio," a bi-monthly hard copy selection of our best reviews. It goes out to subscribers, leading book stores, major libraries, writers, and magazine and newspaper book review editors in this country and in England.

RALPH is the loving stepchild of The Fessenden Review, which appeared between 1985 and 1990, winning encomiums in the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, Poets Market, the Bloomsbury Review, The Generalist, ZYZZYVA, American Libraries, The Sun, and Writer's Digest. It was also described at length on NPR's "Weekend Edition."

--- Lolita Lark,
Executive Editor

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