Quill and Quire

Industry news

« Back to

Günter Grass steps into the ring for his HMH editor

One of the most surprising casualties of last month’s  carnage-strewn Black Wednesday was legendary 79-year-old editor Drenka Willen, who was coolly laid off from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt after nearly 30 years with the firm (as reported by The New York Observer). It appears, however, that the company’s embattled CEO Tony Lucki has sheepishly asked the editor of such Nobel laureates as José Saramago and Wislawa Szymborska to return to work, after receiving an angry letter from Günter Grass, another author from Willen’s pedigreed stable.

Commenting on the about-face, the Los Angeles Times book blog Jacket Copy takes solace in this apparent victory of editorial integrity over the exigencies of the bottom line:

The author-editor relationship is the molten core of book publishing. Authors often show their loyalty by switching publishing houses when their editors move. In an age where the bottom line is so often the almighty dollar, it’s good to hear that some writers have a trump card to play.


January 9th, 2009

12:48 pm

Category: Industry news

Tagged with: Economic downturn