Laurie Chittenden has joined Hyperion an editor-at-large, where she will will focus on acquiring a mix of commercial nonfiction and fiction book projects. She spent the past five years at William Morrow as executive editor, and returns to the publishing house where she began her career in 1993.
Steve Kasdin has joined Curtis Brown as director of digital strategy, to “supervise their e-book program” and help “coordinate their dealings with publishers and etailers.” Kasdin was at Amazon on the Kindle team before relocating back to the East Coast.
Meanwhile, the Jean Naggar Literary Agency has posted an open invitation to act as sub-agent for others in selling fully reverted or reserved backlist to digital publishers–even though that seems like a core activity that most agents would be unlikely to relinquish. Agent Jennifer Weltz tells us she has “discovered that for many younger agencies (than ours) who have just a few titles whose rights have reverted and merit reprint, the labor and learning curve involved in exploring a whole new group of publishers is not cost effective to them nor does it serve their clients for their time to be spent in this endeavor.” She says they are “in talks with a number of agencies who have expressed interest.”
At Random House Children’s, Nora MacDonald has been promoted to marketing coordinator.
Over the weekend the story surrounding Salman Rushdie‘s withdrawal from the Jaipur Literary Festival in India took a number of strange turns. Rushdie had said Friday that he had called off his visit on the advice of government officials, who had received information “that hired killers from the Mumbai underworld had been set after him in order to eliminate him during his visit.” The Hindu reported Sunday that “the two purported Mumbai-based assassins cited in the security threat were unknown to the city police,” and that the threat may have been fabricated. On his Twitter feed Rushdie said he had “investigated the matter” and indicated he “believed I was indeed lied to.”
In the wake of Rushdie’s cancellation, four writers, including Amitava Kumar and Hari Kunzru, read excerpts of Rushdie’s novel THE SATANIC VERSES, which is banned in India. As a result the four writers were instructed to leave the festival–and India–for “legal and security reasons.” Writing on his website (and reposted by the Guardian) Kunzru explained : “We wanted to demystify the book. It is, after all, just a book. Not a bomb. Not a knife or a gun. Just a book.”
Court documents indicate that Martha Grimes‘ breach of contract lawsuit against Penguin, filed last August, was settled earlier this month. On January 9 Magistrate judge Frank Maas issued an order of discontinuance “with prejudice and without costs,” but Grimes’ counsel can apply to the court within 30 days to restore the complaint should that be deemed necessary.