Monday, November 28, 2005

Warner Twelve : exciting new imprint

Also in today's blog

Max Perkins : Editor of Genius
Jonathan Karp, another editor of genius?
Comments on comic books and Lost Horizon
Candid comments from readers

Recently, at a meeting in the public library of a Spanish village not far from mine, the Englishman on my left was trying to recall the name of a crime writer he admired. Suddenly, as we were about to depart, he remembered it - Phyllis Whitney. [Of whom more in a future blog.]

My memory is equally erratic. Recently I couldn't remember the title of a book on my summer bookshelves. It eluded me all day until suddenly, at supper time, it returned - Max Perkins: Editor of Genius.


Yet a few days ago, seeing the book title Seabiscuit on the screen, I had an immediate and clear recollection of a book published by Heinemann half a century ago, Sea-Wyf and Biscuit by J M Scott. In 1957 it was filmed as Sea Wife.
"In 1942, a cargo ship jammed with British evacuees from Singapore is sunk by a Japanese sub. A small lifeboat carries a beautiful woman, an army officer, a bigoted administrator, and a black seaman. Only the seaman knows the woman is a nun. The men reveal their true selves under the hardships of survival."

The movie's chief claims to fame are that a famous director, Roberto Rossellini, walked out on it and that the nun was played by Joan Collins.


Seabiscuit, the book that triggered these memories, is about an American race horse which was
"such a phenomenon in his day that his name was mentioned in more newspaper articles in 1938 than Franklin Roosevelt's or Hitler's. His epic battle that year against War Admiral at Pimlico stands as perhaps the greatest horse race in history. But he also was a "rough-hewn, undersized horse with a sad little tail and a knee that wouldn't straighten all the way," shepherded to his success by a half-blind jockey, an almost mute trainer and an owner who once made his living in bicycle repair."



The most remarkable thing about this book is that its author, Laura Hillenbrand, although you wouldn't guess it from her photo, had to overcome a terribly disabling illness to write it. Her account in the New Yorker of her long struggle against ME, and the support she had from her partner Borden, is one of the most touching real life love stories I have read.

What I find surprising is that, although I read the UK book trade press and a wide variety of newspaper and magazine book pages, neither Seabiscuit - which has attracted 607 reader reviews at Amazon - nor Laura Hillenbrand had registered with me until this week.

The only reason I have discovered them now is because Christopher Hitchens, one of my favourite columnists, has a book coming out next year called God Is Not Great: The Case Against Religion, of which he writes -
"All religions are versions of the same dangerous untruth, which is that we are both created and supervised by a supernatural force. Incalculable damage is done every day by adherents of this fantasy. A defense of humanist values, and of the secular society promised by the American Revolution, is the most important task of the free mind."




The connection between Hitchens and Hillenbrand is that the publisher of both books is Jonathan Karp. In June there was an article about him in Publishers Weekly.
"Of all the stories told about Jonathan Karp, perhaps the one that stands out most is this: in a meeting a few years ago, the editor stood, held up a record from musician/author Rupert Holmes and said, essentially: "This man changed my life, and I am going to publish his book." The story, even allowing for exaggeration, showcases vintage Karp: boyishly cheerful, ineluctably passionate and, sometimes, a little indifferent or oblivious to how others hear him. (I mean, the guy wrote the piña colada song.) It's clear that these traits helped the 41-year-old shoot through the profession as though in a pneumatic tube. They are also, perhaps, what precipitated his abrupt resignation from the most prestigious job in publishing."

That job was being editor-in-chief at Random House. In August, the New York Times reported that Karp, who started his career as a reporter, is also a lyricist. He wrote the musical comedy How to Save the World and Find True Love in 90 Minutes that premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival later that month.

Karp has now re-surfaced as publisher and editor-in-chief of Warner Twelve, a new imprint which launches in April 2006. WT's mission statement begins -
"Talented authors deserve attention: committed and sustained focus on
their work, in the editing and the marketing, from the moment of acquisition through the paperback publication. Warner Twelve is devoted to the principle that each book matters. We will publish no more than one book per month. Every author will have a chance to reach the broadest possible readership. We will publish meaningful stories, true and fictional. Stories told artfully by authors who have a unique perspective and compelling authority. The singular book. Books that explain our culture; that illuminate, inspire, provoke, and entertain. We will seek to establish communities of conversation surrounding our books. Talented authors deserve attention not only from publishers, but from readers as well. To sell the book is only the beginning of our mission. To build avid audiences of readers who are enriched by these works - that is our ultimate purpose."

Comment on comic books



After reading last Sunday's blog, Stephen Bowden hit the Comment button to reprove me for sounding "rather snobbish" in my comment about comic books. I took his advice and went to look for Raymond Briggs.

Comment on Lost Horizon


Sue Horsley emailed -
"Dear Anne I've just been on your blog and was interested in your comments about the novel Lost Horizon. It is one of my favourite books. Having seen the original film and the remake made in the 1970s, I managed to track down the book when I was on holiday in Nepal. Recently I saw an interesting BBC programme titled Shangri-La, part of Michael Woods 'Search of Myths and Heroes' series. He was suggesting that Hilton got his idea for the book from a place named in Buddhist history called 'Shambala'. Information can be found on the
BBC website
. Best Wishes Sue

At the site I learnt that Michael Wood is a broadcaster and film-maker, and the author of In Search of the Dark Ages, Domesday and In Search of England. He has over 80 documentary films to his name, including 'Art of the Western World', 'Legacy', 'In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great', and 'Conquistadors'.
There are six pages of interesting reading, including a book list. I particularly want to read In Search of Shangri-La by Michael MacRae.


One of the quotes I copied is -
"In the increasingly pessimistic 1930s, when Western civilisation seemed bent on a path to self-destruction - and when, as Carl Jung put it, 'the smell of burning was in the air' - the story of a kind of earthly paradise had an irresistible appeal."

In 2005 the smell of burning is even stronger than it was in the Thirties. But it would be difficult to convince today's readers that, somewhere, there is an undiscovered earthly paradise.

Candid comments from readers


Reading candid comments about their books by readers on the other side of the world is a relatively new experience for writers. How do they know what is being said/written? They ask Google to alert them to any mention of their pen name. This is not a sign of megalomania. It's normal curiosity, particularly understandable among non-literary authors whose books are seldom reviewed.
I have been to Wellington in New Zealand, although not to the café in St Paul's Square where one of my books changed ownership recently. On October 10 someone called Kereru15 left a long out-of-print 400-pager called Time & Chance in what
Bookcrossing
calls "the wild", in this case in St Paul's Café.
Kereru15, who gives his/her age as 52, described the book as "Saga based around restoring the family estate and all the interesting and intriguing people that come in to do it. Easy read."
About three weeks later the book was picked up by a 30-year-old called Ageja who marked the book 7 out of 10 and wrote, "Don't be put off by the dated style of writing and exaggerated characters. The story came together well and provided a good bout of 'escapism' from modern fiction. Worth a look! :)"
Judging by the "smiley" at the end of Ageja's comment, my guess is that she mostly reads chick lit, so I wasn't cast into deep gloom by the "dated style of writing" comment. I was a bit puzzled by "exaggerated characters", but perhaps that is because some of the people in Time & Chance are English aristos who do tend to be larger than life.

8 Comments:

At 30 December, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We really love your blog, i haven't seen you keeping the posts in in some time now. Is everything ok. You can reach me here = web traffic@simply pet products.com. Thanks Again Rob Dog Crates, Dog Toys ( Dog Supplies & Cat Supplies Pet Store, Dog Collars) Send Traffic Now

 
At 07 September, 2015, Blogger oakleyses said...

michael kors outlet, uggs on sale, nike air max, michael kors outlet online, replica watches, louis vuitton, tiffany jewelry, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, nike air max, nike free, uggs outlet, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, jordan shoes, burberry handbags, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin uk, michael kors outlet store, polo ralph lauren outlet online, prada outlet, polo outlet, longchamp outlet, ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, burberry outlet, ugg boots, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, ugg boots, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, tory burch outlet, tiffany and co, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin shoes, gucci handbags, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin, louis vuitton, uggs outlet

 
At 07 September, 2015, Blogger oakleyses said...

michael kors outlet, michael kors, north face, north face uk, louboutin pas cher, vans pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, air max, coach outlet store online, nike tn, michael kors pas cher, converse pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, timberland pas cher, burberry pas cher, new balance, hollister pas cher, polo lacoste, polo ralph lauren, chanel handbags, kate spade outlet, hogan outlet, coach outlet, true religion outlet, nike air force, guess pas cher, hollister uk, jordan pas cher, nike free run, sac vanessa bruno, lululemon canada, true religion outlet, nike roshe, oakley pas cher, michael kors, true religion jeans, ray ban uk, sac hermes, coach outlet, true religion outlet, coach purses, kate spade, longchamp pas cher, ray ban pas cher, nike air max

 
At 07 September, 2015, Blogger oakleyses said...

mulberry uk, jimmy choo outlet, wedding dresses, asics running shoes, vans outlet, bottega veneta, nike trainers uk, longchamp uk, abercrombie and fitch, insanity workout, nfl jerseys, hollister, hollister clothing, soccer jerseys, giuseppe zanotti outlet, herve leger, nike roshe run uk, ghd hair, nike huaraches, ferragamo shoes, reebok outlet, mont blanc pens, north face outlet, new balance shoes, chi flat iron, nike air max uk, babyliss, valentino shoes, hermes belt, nike air max, nike roshe run, north face outlet, celine handbags, lululemon, baseball bats, beats by dre, nike air max uk, mcm handbags, nike free uk, ralph lauren uk, p90x workout, abercrombie and fitch uk, instyler, mac cosmetics, soccer shoes

 
At 07 September, 2015, Blogger oakleyses said...

replica watches, marc jacobs, doke gabbana, louis vuitton, timberland boots, ugg pas cher, coach outlet, michael kors outlet, links of london, louis vuitton, michael kors outlet online, toms shoes, lancel, iphone 6 cases, gucci, converse outlet, louis vuitton, hollister, karen millen uk, ugg, swarovski crystal, pandora uk, ray ban, thomas sabo, pandora charms, supra shoes, ralph lauren, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, converse, swarovski, louboutin, juicy couture outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, montre pas cher, juicy couture outlet, oakley, vans, nike air max, louis vuitton, ugg uk, pandora jewelry, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, michael kors handbags, hollister, wedding dresses

 
At 11 December, 2015, Blogger 柯云 said...

2015-12-11keyun
uggs outlet
nike air max uk
canada goose
coach outlet
canada goose outlet
michael kors
chanel handbags
timberlands
kate spade handbags
north face
uggs for women
cheap toms
adidas originals store
celine bags
hollister clothing
ed hardy outlet
louis vuitton bags
michael kors handbags
air max 95
ugg boots
p90x
gucci outlet
ray ban outlet
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
abercrombie & fitch
ugg australia outlet
air max 95
coach factory outlet
ray-ban sunglasses
giuseppe zanotti outlet
lebron james basketball shoes
ugg sale
uggs sale
fitflop clearance
michaek kors
uggs boots for women
louis vuitton handbags
tory burch outlet
tods outlet store

 
At 15 April, 2016, Blogger chenlina said...

chenlina20160416
coach factorty outlet
nike sb shoes
louis vuitton outlet stores
jordan 4
ray ban outlet
rolex watches
coach outlet
cheap jerseys
tod's shoes
coach outlet
kids lebron shoes
ray bans
louis vuitton outlet
coach outlet
cartier watches
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors uk
polo ralph lauren
nike air max 90
cheap oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet
gucci handbags
michael kors outlet clearance
ray ban sunglasses
gucci outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
nike trainers men
michael kors
ray ban sunglasses discount
louis vuitton
coach outlet
hollister outlet
kate spade handbags
ray ban sunglasses
toms shoes
louis vuitton outlet
fitflops sale clearance
coach outlet store online
true religion sale
oakley sunglasses
as

 
At 29 April, 2016, Blogger Xiaozhengm 520 said...

2016-4-29 xiaozhengm
kobe 11
nike air force 1
coach outlet
coach outlet
ray ban uk
toms shoes
coach outlet online
coach outlet online
nike store
ray ban wayfarer
hollister clothing
ray ban outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
cheap oakley sunglasses
nike sb shoes
polo ralph lauren outlet
coach outlet store online
adidas originals shoes
kate spade handbags
oakley vault
nike air max
gucci outlet
ugg boots
nike uk
louis vuitton handbags
cheap jerseys wholesale
louis vuitton
coach factory outlet
nike uk
coach outlet
toms shoes outlet online
oakley sunglasses
tiffany and co
nike air jordan
rolex watches outlet
north face outlet
nike sb
coach factory outlet
ralph lauren polo
michael kors outlet online

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home