by Edward Nawotka
This past summer former president of Penguin Group Canada David Davidar was embroiled in a sex scandal that forced him to leave his job. Today comes the news that he’s just sold a fictional publishing tell-all to McClelland & Stewart in the fall of 2011.
There have been several blasé exposes of life in publishing and the ones that aren’t tend to reek of mercenary opportunism — Bill Clegg’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Addict, anyone?
Will this one be any different? Davidar has a track record as a fine novelist (his second novel, 2007’s The Solitude of Emperors, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize) and surely has some rich material to mine. This new book promises to address international publishing, so my first question, is in what publishing ‘verse is this set? Toronto? Or is it New York, London and perhaps even a little bit Frankfurt, where booze, furtive sex and deal-making go hand in hand?
According to a press release, the book will be titled Ithaca, and Doug Pepper president and publisher of McClelland & Stewart, notes: “With this book, David turns his keenly observant and passionate eye on a subject he knows well, giving us a rich, layered, and poignant novel about the publishing industry at a time of its greatest change in a century. Honest, witty, and edgy, the book’s message is ultimately hopeful, about the power of great story-telling and how it has endured and, despite the cataclysmic changes of the last several years, will continue to endure.”
Press release, via Publishers Weekly