November 1-15, 2004

November 1, 2004
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Publishing News

Book Deals

November 1-15, 2004 Edition Book Deals Update PublicAffairs

Decides Against

Clarke Project

NEW YORK, NY/10/25/04—According to an article in Publishers Weekly, PublicAffairs—a member of the Perseus Books Group—has decided to back out of a co-publishing deal with the Century Foundation to release a book titled, Defeating the Jihadists, written by several national security experts, with Richard Clarke as the lead author. Clark, who has become a best selling fiction writer, is soon to have a new novel released by Putnam, and is also under an option with Free Press (Simon & Schuster) to write a nonfiction title.

Instead, the book will be released only as a report by the non-profit Foundation, which commissioned Clark and other experts to write the report about the global jihadist threat.

PW said the decision was likely based on Free Press concerns that a new trade nonfiction title by Perseus and Century might conflict with its existing option on the nonfiction title Clarke is optioned to write for them. Free Press controls royalties on Clarke’s bestseller Against All Enemies.

Clarke’s agent Len Sherman reportedly is concerned about the use of Clarke’s name in a commercial work by PublicAffiars/Perseus, saying it’s not the same thing as Century releasing a policy document on its own.

Wonkette Creator Cox

To Write Comic Novel

For Riverhead’s 2005 List

New York, NY/10/22/04—Julie Grau, Vice President and Publisher of Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), today announced the acquisition of Dog Days, a sharply observed comic novel by Ana Marie Cox, who writes the widely read political blog “Wonkette.” Dog Days chronicles the romantic and political life of a young campaign staffer in Washington, D.C. during the lull between the Democratic and Republican Conventions. Riverhead Assistant Editor Megan Lynch acquired North American rights to Cox’s book at auction from literary agent Gary Morris of the David Black Agency. Riverhead will publish the title in hardcover in 2005.

Ms. Grau commented, “‘Wonkette’ is fueled by Ana Marie’s distinctive voice and perspective, and it’s precisely her fearlessness and wry observations that have made her site essential reading for anyone engaged by the political news of the day. She has chosen an irresistible conceit and setting for Dog Days and, perhaps not surprisingly, her fiction effort is remarkably poised, very funny, and true to life. It’s very exciting for us to be with Ana Marie at the start of her brilliant career.”

Ms. Lynch adds: “I’ve been a fan of Ana Marie and ‘Wonkette’ for some time, and what I admire most about her writing is the way she uses her sharp, funny voice and inside-out knowledge of D.C. to create a world that feels vital and engaging—even to the non-wonk. It’s that same talent that drives her fiction writing and will make Dog Days so immediately convincing.”

Dog Days is a roman a clef in the tradition of Primary Colors, but injected with Cox’s razor-sharp wit and fresh, forthright point of view that have been the hallmark of her writings on “Wonkette” ( www.wonkette.com). Launched in January 2004 by Gawker Media, the site’s blend of gossip and satire instantly became competition for the Washington Post’s “Reliable Source.” “Wonkette” gets 430,000 hits per week from readers eager for its no-holds-barred take on politicos, pundits, journalists, and others who comprise the Capitol Hill scene.

The New York Times Magazine featured Cox in the publication’s recent political bloggers cover story and noted commentator/blogger Andrew Sullivan has called her “the newest, funniest blogger on the block.” In the past year, Cox has also been written up in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Time Out New York, The Village Voice, and The Hollywood Reporter, among other publications. In addition, she has made a number of television appearances, including spots on NBC’s Nightly News with Tom Brokaw and Weekend Today, ABC’s Good Morning America and Nightline, CNBC’s Capitol Report and Topic A With Tina Brown, CNN’s Reliable Sources, the Fox News Channel, and MSNBC’s Scarborough Country. She covered the Democratic National Convention last July for MTV News.

About Penguin

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin Books, The Penguin Press, Philomel, Plume, Puffin, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group ( http://www.penguin.com) is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

George Saunders

to Publish Two New

Titles with Riverhead

New York, NY/10/19/04—Sean McDonald, Senior Editor and Online Creative Director of Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), has acquired two new books by George Saunders, acclaimed author of The New York Times notable books Civilwarland in Bad Decline and Pastoralia, the latter also a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. McDonald acquired North American rights to Saunders’ new works from literary agent Esther Newberg of International Creative Management.

“George Saunders is one of the most brilliant, influential, and entertaining fiction writers around,” said McDonald. “He can be flat-out hilarious, but there’s always something haunting and provocative tucked in underneath. I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with him on these next two books, and everyone at Riverhead is thrilled to continue our relationship with him.”

The first book, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, is an allegorical novella that combines the articulate, political voice Saunders has demonstrated in his essays in Slate and The New Yorker with his outlandish creative imagination. Riverhead plans to publish this title in 2005. The Red Bow, Saunders’ highly anticipated next collection of short fiction, will be published by Riverhead in 2006.

Saunders is a three-time recipient of the National Magazine Award, once for the story “The Red Bow,” originally published in Esquire, which will appear in the forthcoming collection of the same title. He is also a four-time recipient of the O. Henry Award and was nominated for the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction. His work appears frequently in The New Yorker, and he is currently Director of the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University, where he has received a Graduate Teaching Award.

About Penguin

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin Books, The Penguin Press, Philomel, Plume, Puffin, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group ( http://www.penguin.com) is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

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