Author, former editor and attorney Jeff Ourvan has joined the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency as a literary agent. He focuses on non-fiction works, especially memoirs, histories, biographies, international current events and sports, along with some young adult, thriller and international fiction.
Stephanie Knapp is joining Crown trade paperbacks assistant editor, reporting to Heather Lazare and Alexis Washam. She was an editorial assistant at Rodale Books. She will “concentrate on backlist optimization in print and digital formats with a focus on practical non-fiction.”
Keen Communications mourns the passing of Thomas Winnett, founder of Wilderness Press, who died last week at 89. Winnett began Wilderness Press with the publication of Sierra North in 1967, and Keen purchased the company in 2008. They write that “his commitment to providing clear, concise, and correct books and maps for hikers established Wilderness as one of the preeminent outdoor publishers. Tom’s spirit of adventure, coupled with his guardianship for parks and protected lands, also made him a noted figure in environmental protection issues.” A May 15 memorial service is being planned in Berkeley, CA.
The Observer tries to cast Random House’s roster of semi-celebrity semi-editors as the new versions of Jackie Onassis, though the comparison seems strained. The focus is really on Dana Perino‘s appointment as “editorial director” for Crown Forum, even as she continues to run her own PR firm, appear on Fox, and juggle various other committments.
But they do provide insights into Kurt Andersen‘s stint as editor-at-large at Random: “I’m not really sure I still have that nebulous title there anymore,” Andersen says. He drew “a modest salary” for two years, because, he says, “I know a lot of writers and I have a lot of conversations with writers.” In exchange, he “helped birth two books”: Robert Nylen’s Vietnam memoir GUTS and pollster Douglas Schoen’s DECLARING INDEPENDENCE: The Beginning of the End of the Two-Party System.
The Observer also say Ruth Reichl “does not seem to have a phone number at Random House, and a publicist confirmed she “works from home.” (She turned down a request for an interview through her agent.) Others are more involved: Jon Meacham has an office (or what one publishing executive called “a place to hang his ego”) and an assistant who answers his phone, but he is also a working journalist (and builder of many bridges: his story “What If There’s No Hell?” ran on the cover of last week’s Time). Andy Ward, quaintly, seems to be just a plain old editor of books with a full-time job at Random House.
A special Best of Beryl Booker prize, in which readers voted for their favorite of the late Beryl Bainbridge‘s five novels that were shortlisted for the award (which she never won) over the years, has selected MASTER GEORGIE.
Editis has sold Belgian publisher Group De Boeck, which it acquired in 2007, to private equity firm Ergon Capital Partners. Editis CEO Alain Kouck said the sale “will give Editis the ability to continue its development in the digital age, and its fundamental sectors in the general literature, education, reference services.”