The Subject: Jonathan Safran Foer
J.S.'s path to success was smoother than J.T.'s, as Foer comes from a well-connected family. His older brother, Franklin, is a senior editor at The New Republic (which plays an important role in Carroll Quigley's massive history of the Eastern Establishment, Tragedy and Hope).
Jonathan found additional mentors at Princeton University, including Jeffrey Eugenides, Russell Banks, and most notably, Joyce Carol Oates. With their help, the young, unproven author received a half-million advance for his first book, along with a massive p.r. campaign to accompany it. No doubt J.S. had as much aid writing his novel as did J.T., with even less passable results.
Conculsion: In the lit world it really does come down to who you know or who you blow.