" Erotic, whimsical, profound-almost all of Cooke's stories illustrate what Matthew Arnold terms "the eternal note of sadness." Cooke writes with passion, empathy and considerable humor as her characters face life-changing issues of divorce, illness, self-destruction and impending death." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
We're delighted that Jonathan Kirsch's new book, THE SHORT, STRANGE LIFE OF HERSCHEL GRYNSZPAN (Norton/Liveright), was touted in The New Yorker and the Wall Street Journal:
"[An] excellent account...Reading this excellent, thought-provoking biography, one is all too easily reminded of Camus's 1942 novel, 'The Stranger.'" -Philip Kerr, Wall Street Journal
The Gershwins and Me
A Personal History in Twelve Songs
by Michael Feinstein
FROM PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:
Known as the ambassador of the Great American Songbook, musician Feinstein includes a 12-track CD in this combination autobiography and biography of George and Ira Gershwin. At age 20, Feinstein was hired by Ira to catalogue the lyricist’s archives, and the two became close friends over the next six years. Ira died in 1983, and two years later, Feinstein released his debut album, Pure Gershwin. Now he looks back over his “years of obsession,” sharing artifacts from his collection of memorabilia, including personal photos, promotional stage shots, sheet music, correspondence, hand-written lyric fragments, and paintings by the Gershwins. Feinstein writes with wit, humor, and attitude, including fascinating bits of trivia and illuminating anecdotes. Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, and other composers are considered, too. With much space devoted to revisions made in lyrics and ways of interpreting songs, Feinstein deplores how modern productions have stripped these songs of their drama, as in the “travesty” biopic film De-Lovely. Combining text, images and audio into a unique single package, this is an impressive celebration of the Gershwins and their lasting legacy.
FROM KIRKUS REVIEWS:
A multiple Grammy-winning performer of and advocate for American popular song offers the story of his long affection for the work of the Gershwins.
Feinstein (Nice Work If You Can Get It: My Life in Rhythm and Rhyme, 1995) begins with a swift account of how he met Ira Gershwin, the lyricist of the celebrated duo, and how he subsequently went to work for him for six years, researching, identifying and cataloging Gershwin materials. The author has hit upon a happy way to organize this dual biography/celebration: He selects a dozen classic Gershwin songs (from “Strike Up the Band” to “Love Is Here to Stay”), which he arranges not chronologically but biographically. This approach effectively illuminates the lives and careers of his principals. As the title indicates, Feinstein is the third subject. Although he tells the Gershwins’ stories, childhood to grave, he also relates his own history with their music and reveals his great respect for their achievements. Although Feinstein knew Ira and writes affectingly about his lyrics, his admiration of George—pianist and composer—soars. Repeatedly, he lauds George’s artistry at the keyboard and his enduring compositions. Feinstein also discusses the Gershwins’ love lives, the significant performers of their work (from Fred Astaire to Ethel Merman), their successes and flops, their experiences in Hollywood and the devastation of George’s shocking death at 38 (brain tumor). The author includes stories about his own preferences and performances, tales of his avid collecting, minirants about music education and some shots at others (Virgil Thompson among them).
Frisky, affectionate, lushly illustrated, deeply informed and profoundly respectful.
Congratulations to Daniel H. Wilson and Robopocalyspe on gracing The New York Times Bestseller List! View the List Here.
Robopocalyspe 'Robopocalypse' fast-tracked at DreamWorks Doubleday also pre-emptively acquires rights to manuscript. Please note that the release date has been moved to April 25, 2014, the same weekend that "The Avengers" debuted this year. View the Article Here.
Congratulations to Daniel H. Wilson on his provocative think piece in the Wall Street Journal on the future of physical and mental enhancements and how they will affect our society. See link here.
Elizabeth Brundage is the author of three novels: A Stranger Like You, Somebody Else’s Daughter and The Doctor’s Wife. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was the recipient of a James Michener Award. Click here to read the interview.
Starred Publishers Weekly review and Boston Globe bestseller!
Daughters of the Revolution
Carolyn Cooke. Knopf, $23.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-307-59473-0
Cooke's flinty first novel, coming nearly 10 years after her much-acclaimed collection, The Bostons, grapples with another set of crafty New Englanders, all involved, one way or another, with the Goode School of Boston in the late 1960s: head Goddard "God" Byrd, a seductive male chauvinist of nearly retirement age, is dead set against allowing girls into his beloved institution despite being himself the product of radical New England reformers; Heck, product of "a brilliant class" at Goode, dies in a suspicious accident at sea while boating with his best friend, Rebozos, widowing his young bride, Mei-Mei; and Heck and Mei-Mei's daughter, EV, becomes an essential narrator, observing her widowed mother's clumsy affair with Byrd, and growing friendly with the first girl admitted to the school in 1969, Carole--the half-black teenage daughter of Rebozos, it turns out. Each of the characters offers his or her own trajectory, moving through the 1970s and into the '80s, from Carole's political and artistic iconoclasm to EV's sexual initiation and move to New York, through to 2005, when Goode's transformation comes full circle. Though these taut narratives live in the book more as discrete stories than as moving parts of a novel, they are individually excellent. Cooke delivers on every page.
"If you read just one book of fiction this year, this should be the one." Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
Jillian Lauren's astonishing memoir debuts on the New York Times Bestseller list.
Film rights to Daniel Wilson's ROBOPOCALYPSE, a novel exploring the fate of the human race after a robot uprising, sold to DreamWorks for accelerated development by Justin Manask at the Office for Literary Adaptation on behalf of the Agency.
Universal Studios has acquired the rights to James R. Hansen’s FIRST MAN, the biography of Neil Armstrong. Nicole Perlman will write the script. Temple Hill Entertainment partners Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey will produce.
Feature film rights to roboticist Daniel H. Wilson's How to Survive a Robot Uprising (Bloomsbury USA; Wired's Book of the Year 2006) were optioned by Steven Pink, who produced "high fidelity" and directed "hot tub time travel," with actor Jack Black attached. The film will be produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and released on April 25, 2014.
Winston's international bestseller, Good Grief, was optioned by Marc Platt/Universal. Both deals were made by Joel Gotler of IPG on behalf of the agency.
Cowboy & Wills
A Remarkable Little Boy and the Puppy That Changed His Life