Newsweek Baghdad correspondent Michael Hastings‘ book proposal sold last Tuesday for $500,000 to Scribner, a publishing source told FishbowlNY Thursday. The book, about Hastings’ experiences working as a young journalist in Iraq, focuses on the author’s relationship with 28-year-old Andrea “Andi” Parhamovich, a civilian consulting with NGO National Democratic Institute in Baghdad who was killed January
2717, 2007 in an ambush there.
In his January 29, 2007, editor’s letter, Newsweek Jon Meacham billed it as a “death in the family,” describing how at the time of Parhamovich’s death, Hastings had plans to take her to Paris the following month to propose. Meacham, however, wasn’t the only one to move fast in sharing news of this tragedy.
We’re told Hastings’ book proposal landed at the Wylie Agency — where Hastings is represented by Andrew Wylie‘s No. 2 agent, Sarah Chalfant — three weeks after Parhamovich was killed in Baghdad. Containing “intimate emails and text message transcripts” that “really creep you out,” according to our source, the proposal apparently contained photos to illustrate Hastings’ and Parhamovich’s romance — including one of Parhamovich posing with a teddy bear.
The proposal’s not of the caliber one would expect of a nationally-published journalist, nor a top-tier literary agency, as our source describes: “I couldn’t stand it,” she says. “I wondered if he’s a stringer, as the writing was not good. Also, it seems like it wasn’t even proofread, either, which is unusual for Wylie. Their stuff is usually very clean, so I wonder if this wasn’t a rush on their end, too.”
The Wylie Agency has yet to respond to inquiries about Hastings’ proposal.