Rachel Chou will join Celadon Books as associate publisher, leading the publicity and marketing team, starting January 17. Most recently she had been general manager/chief content officer for Open Road Integrated Media, where she as part of the founding executive team.
Beth Ineson will take over as executive director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association, as Steve Fischer retires. Most recently she was executive director, retail book sales, marketing and operations at America’s Test Kitchen.
Jennifer Myers joined Crooked Lane as a production editor. She was previously an associate production editor at Berkley.
At the Transatlantic Agency, Stephanie Sinclair has been promoted to senior agent, in addition to managing international rights for Samantha Haywood’s clients. Sinclair will also manage international sales for Page Two, the separate company owned and operated by Transatlantic agents Jesse Finkelstein and Trena White.
Patricia Stockland returns to Capstone as publisher after an 11-year hiatus, most recently serving as publisher with Cantata Learning. Darin Rasmussen joins the company as vp of digital product development and management.
Stephen King will receive the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award for work that “embodies PEN America’s mission to oppose repression in any form and to champion the best of humanity.” He’ll be honored in a ceremony on May 22 at the American Museum of Natural History. Simon & Schuster ceo Carolyn Reidy will be the publishing honoree at the event. The organization notes, “Reidy’s commitment to diversity at Simon & Schuster has led the company to make substantial progress in creating a more diverse workforce and to publish a wider range of voices that is more truly reflective of our larger culture today.”
Whiting honoree, poet Ocean Vuong won the TS Eliot prize for his debut collection, Night Sky With Exit Wounds.
Indigo will open a 21,000-square-foot store on Robson Street in Vancouver, close to the former location of its Chapters store that closed in 2015.
Philip Roth is interviewed by email by Chip McGrath in the NYT. Turning 85 in a few months, Roth notes: “I go to sleep smiling and I wake up smiling. I’m very pleased that I’m still alive. Moreover, when this happens, as it has, week after week and month after month since I began drawing Social Security, it produces the illusion that this thing is just never going to end, though of course I know that it can stop on a dime. It’s something like playing a game, day in and day out, a high-stakes game that for now, even against the odds, I just keep winning.” (We also note that author William Kennedy turns 90 today.)
Roth’s biographer Blake Bailey is said to have “amassed 1,900 pages of notes for a book expected to be half that length,” and creator of The Wire David Simon is making a six-part mini-series of The Plot Against America. Asked if he ever foresaw “an America like the one we live in today,” Roth writes:
“No one (except perhaps the acidic H. L. Mencken, who famously described American democracy as ‘the worship of jackals by jackasses’) could have imagined that the 21st-century catastrophe to befall the U.S.A., the most debasing of disasters, would appear not, say, in the terrifying guise of an Orwellian Big Brother but in the ominously ridiculous commedia dell’arte figure of the boastful buffoon. How naïve I was in 1960 to think that I was an American living in preposterous times!”
Separately, 82-year-old Robert Caro is interviewed in the NYRB. “He doesn’t know when he’ll finish the fifth and final volume [of the Lyndon Johnson biographies] —two years, five, ten? But…Caro is considering new projects.” He says: “I do have some plans for when it’s finished. I’ve written a lot of a memoir. It’s about the fights I had with Robert Moses and the Johnson people to write these books. There’s also another biography I’ve been thinking about to show some other aspects of power. I don’t want to say more, though.”
Caro notes, “I write by hand to slow myself down. People don’t believe this about me: I’m a very fast writer, but I want to write slowly.”