John F. Baker -- 2/12/01
Schulz Story: No Peanuts | Another Florida Recount | Should It Be Dot-Con?
Jazz to the Fore | Short Takes
Schulz Story: No PeanutsA year after the death of the widely beloved creator of the Peanuts comic strip, Charles Schulz, an official biography is in the works, and Hugh van Dusen at HarperCollins has it signed up. It will be by David Michaelis, author of a 1998 Knopf biography of artist N.C. Wyeth, and thereby hangs a tale. It seems that when Michaelis, a great admirer of Schulz's work, called his widow to seek her cooperation on a bio, she told him that the Wyeth book was the last one she and her husband had read together before his death last February. She naturally gave her approval, and Michaelis has already begun interviewing Schulz's family and friends for a book he expects to take about four years to write. The world rights sale was made by agent Melanie Jackson.
Another Florida RecountThe reporters at the Miami Herald do not give up on a story easily, and though George W. Bush is now president, they're still looking into the whole tangled Florida vote situation. As part of their researches, they've hired an accounting firm, BDO Seidman, to go over the disputed ballots with a fine-tooth comb and report on what they find. The results will be the centerpiece of a book to be called The Miami Herald Report: Democracy Held Hostage, which Matthew Shear, v-p and publisher of St. Martin's reference and paperback divisions, has just signed world rights for six figures. The book, which the house plans to crash out as soon as March, will be put together by a couple dozen Herald reporters, coordinated by veteran senior writer Martin Merzer. The deal was made by Ron Goldfarb of Goldfarb & Associates.
Should It Be Dot-Con?If the whole Internet stock boom turns out in the end to be a complete bust, John Cassidy, chief
Jazz to the ForeThe big Ken Burns PBS-TV jazz special has certainly created a book boomlet on the wondrous music and its practitioners, and we've just learned of a couple of sales it inspired. One is of a book called A Love Supreme: The Creation of John Coltrane's Greatest Album by Ashley Kahn, who had hitherto done the same for Miles Davis's classic Kind of Blue. Viking's Rick Kot was so hot for the proposal that he made a six-figure offer within a couple of hours of receiving it to David Dunton at the Harvey Klinger agency. It was a world rights sale, and Kot expects to publish in fall 2002.
Kahn's publisher on the Davis book last year was Da Capo, which has a deal with Wynton Marsalis, the virtuoso trumpeter who was the chief talking head on Jazz. Da Capo senior editor Andrea Schulz bought a book coauthored by Marsalis and writer Carl Vigeland called Jazz in the Bittersweet Blues of Life, in which Vigeland, who became a friend, accompanied Marsalis and his group on tour and in the studio for a year. The North American buy was from Wayne S. Kabak at William Morris, and the book will be out this summer.
Betsy Lerner at the Gernert Company made a two-book world rights deal (except U.K.) with Sonny Mehta and Deb Garrison at Knopf for celebrated p t Deborah Larsen, both prose
Volume 247 Issue 7 02/12/2001