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Posts Tagged ‘Herman Wouk’

96-Year-Old Novelist Herman Wouk Lands Book Deal

96-year-old novelist Herman Wouk has sold his latest novel to Simon & Schuster. The Lawgiver follows the production of a movie about Moses through “letters, memos, emails, journals, news articles, recorded talk, tweets, Skype transcripts, and text messages” sent between characters.

Publication is set for the fall. Wouk is the author of The Caine Mutiny, Marjorie Morningstar and The Winds of War. Amy Rennert of the Amy Rennert Agency negotiated the deal with Simon & Schuster imprint publisher Jonathan Karp–who once wrote his master’s thesis on Wouk’s novels.

Karp praised the book in the release: “Within just a few pages I was captivated, once again in the thrall of Wouk’s sharply conceived characters, amusing narration, irresistible command of story, and the wisdom of a lifetime.  I found myself marveling at the verve and wit of this great American storyteller, now 96.  The insights into Moses have remarkable vitality and depth.  His heroine, Margo (‘Mashie’) is a twenty-first century incarnation of one of my favorite literary characters of all time, Marjorie Morningstar.” (Photo via)

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Stephen King Story Features Motoko Rich Cameo

Novelist Stephen King published “Herman Wouk Is Still Alive” in The Atlantic this month, a dark exploration of aging and tragedy. The new short story also features a cameo appearance by former New York Times publishing reporter Motoko Rich (she now covers the economics beat).

In the middle of the story, King fabricated a publishing story under Rich’s byline entitled “Nonagenarian Wouk to Publish New Book.” In an interview about the short story, King explained why he included novelist Herman Wouk (and the imaginary publishing story).

Check it out: “Every year my son Owen and I have a bet on the NCAA March Madness Tournament, and last year the stakes were that the loser would have to write a story [with a title] the winner gave to him. And I lost. Except I really won, because I got this story that I really like. The title that he gave me for the story was “Herman Wouk Is Still Alive,” because he’d just a read a piece saying that the guy was still alive and he’s still writing even though he’s 95 or 96 years old.”

Regan a Clef and More Publishing-Inspired Books

AP’s Hillel Italie is the latest reporter to profile Bridie Clark and her debut novel BECAUSE SHE CAN. No matter how much she and Warner Books, the book’s publisher, swear up and down that the dragon-lady boss character, Vivian Grant, bears no resemblance to Judith Regan, about the only major difference is that Grant is a blonde and Regan’s a brunette. But the piece is more fun for who gets quoted about the paucity of insider-ish novels about our favorite industry. “It isn’t that kind of business,” says Jason Epstein, a longtime editor with Doubleday and Random House whose many authors have included Norman Mailer and E.L. Doctorow. “It’s very gentlemanly, and there isn’t a lot of scandal to write about. You publish a book, it sells or it doesn’t sell, and then you publish another one.”

Other editors who get ink include Rob Weisbach (who namechecks Adam Davies‘ THE FROG KING as a publishing-drenched novel and praises Clark for her good editing skills!) and Robert Gottlieb, who cited Herman Wouk‘s YOUNGBLOOD HAWKE, a 1961 novel about a publishing sensation who lives fast and dies faster. “But publishing is not a glamorous business,” Gottlieb says. “It involves people sitting home and reading long manuscripts and then putting their pencils on the paper and making notations. Someone may set a novel in the publishing industry, but I don’t see it as the basis for a strong novel.”

Strong, no; vivid, yes, but then there are certain scenes in Olivia Goldsmith‘s THE BESTSELLER that are impossible to clear from our heads…