Writer-Director John Sayles can’t sell his novel

For 40 minutes last month he held them spellbound, reading about America in 1898. John Sayles didn't just give the crowd a taste of his new novel, "Some Time in the Sun" -- he performed a comedy about tabloid newsboys in New York, playing 26 characters with thick, period accents.

"WAR!" Sayles boomed in the voice of a 13-year-old newsie thrilled ("Trilled!") that the Spanish-American War had boosted his daily street sales: "Remember the . . . Maine! Jeez, the way they played it out -- Day 1, the ship blows up. Day 2, who blew the ship up? Day 3, we think we know. Day 4, we sent down our experts!"

When it was over, the audience at City University of New York's Gotham Center gave Sayles an ovation. But then he was humbled by a question from a woman in the front row: When would the book be out?RI

"I've been done with it for six or seven months, and it's out to five or six publishers," he said quietly. "But we haven't had any bites yet."

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