Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Find Out Why Zack O'Malley Greenburg Wrote his Book on Jay-Z, EMPIRE STATE OF MIND

On the Forbes site Zack writes about why he wrote his book without Jay-Z's participation, ending with:  My book aims to answer a simple question: how did Jay-Z rise from Brooklyn’s impoverished housing projects to a position as one of America’s most successful businessmen? The answer should be of interest to anybody interested in music, sports, or business—and to any entrepreneur in search of a blueprint for building something spectacular from the humblest of beginnings. Jay-Z’s story is the American dream in its purest form, and it’s a story I’m honored to tell—even if he didn’t want me to tell it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Owen Laster, Friend and Mentor, and a Truly Great Man

Owen Laster, 1938-2011

Like many others both inside and outside the publishing world, I owe an immeasurable debt to the great Owen Laster for his principled example of how to conduct the business of agenting (and, by extension, the affairs of living in general) with unparalleled honor and equanimity.

Among the guiding lights in the publishing world, Owen was one of the brightest, and certainly the brightest for me.  In the fourteen years since I left William Morris, we had dinner every one or two months, and spoke more often.  He was quick to point out where I was right or wrong, but equally quick to suggest a way out that would work for all parties involved.  His impact on my life was all pervasive, and I will miss him dearly.

Read William Grimes' New York Times obituary for Owen, a post about Owen by Robert Gottlieb on Publishers Lunch, Hillel Italie's AP obituary, Variety's obituary, and a wonderful post by Glenn Plaskin on his web site, "A Spring Lunch with a Legend."

Ed Victor has written a wonderful piece about Owen for Book Brunch, in which he writes:
He was someone of immense strength of character – always his own man, guided by his own sense of rectitude, even if, every now and then, he had to disagree with company policy. Editors and publishers who worked with him knew they could rely on him to be absolutely straight with them. Someone once said, accurately, that it was odd that a Jewish man could be the epitome of the true Christian. But that was true of Owen – he had an internal compass that always pointed to a moral North.

Monday, March 7, 2011

THE ADVENTURES OF UNEMPLOYED MAN by Stonestreet and Golan #1 Graphic Novel in the UK, is Championed by The Observer

Rachel Cooke reviewed Gan and Erich's masterwork in The Observer yesterday, calling it:

a furious, fearless, Swiftian kind of a book that – to slip into comic-strip speak just for a moment – ASTOUNDS with its wit, and AMAZES with its perspicacity. It should be read by everyone: by the forgotten, hardworking heroes of our desperate economy, who must toil increasingly hard merely to keep the wolf from the door, but also by its villains, who caused all the trouble in the first place. This book is so good it might cause a rare outbreak of shame among the ruling classes – which is why, even as I type, I am shoving copies into two envelopes, to be dispatched shortly to George Osborne, care of HM Treasury, and to Gordon Brown, care of his soppy wife (question: are her "diaries" a spoof?). Gaze on it and weep, guys.