Literary agents Carmen Balcells, and Andrew Wylie, are joining forces for a new international agency, Balcells & Wylie, according to a short two-paragraph email sent to clients of the two agencies and seen by Spanish newspapers. They say the email begins: “Yesterday May 27, Carmen Balcells and Andrew Wylie signed a memorandum of understanding in order to create an international agency called Balcells & Wylie.” It notes that, “We have admired each other for years, and we are now able to work more closely. Our goal is to give greater strength, scope and duration to the representation of clients, and we are excited and fully committed to the opportunities before us,” the agents said in a joint statement.
The details are oblique as they sound, and it is not yet clear how the merger affects the US and UK business of the Wylie Agency. Wylie, in a short statement to us, said: “Balcells & Wylie is a new entity, the composition of which will be worked out over the coming weeks.” Guillem d’Efak of the Balcells Agency, “asked if this was a global merger or the creation of a Latin American subsidiary,” only told el Periodico that “all scenarios are open.” El Pais treats it as a full merger, and says “the creation of this literary super agency was a rumor for months.” They say the two “have taken the first step to becoming the most powerful international agency with the most coveted and world authors.” Penguin Random House literary director Claudio López de Lamadrid says, “This is a very smart move by the two agencies…. On one hand Wylie enters the Spanish-speaking world, and Balcells ensures the continuity of the agency and its authors win.”
Balcells, 83, counts the estate of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Juan Goytisolo among her dozens of Spanish-language clients. In 2008, Wylie took over representation for the estate of Roberto Bolano, a former Balcells client, just as a previously unpublished novel (THE THIRD REICH) was uncovered.