Longtime Washington Post Book World editor Ron Charles is transitioning into a “redefined job” at the paper. He writes: “No more editing! From now on, I just get to write about books for the paper. After assigning and editing reviews every day for more than 20 years, I feel like that old tiger finally released from his cage who just keeps walking back and forth where the bars used to be. . . . Friends tell me I’ll get the hang of it.” Succeeding Charles as Book World editor is Stephanie Merry, who was previously a culture reporter for the Style section.
Latoya Smith has left the L. Perkins Agency. She will now be offering representation along with editorial services under her company, LCS Literary Services.
Michael Ondaatje‘s 1992 novel THE ENGLISH PATIENT was awarded the one-off Golden Man Booker Prize, given in honor of the Prize’s 50th anniversary.
Black Swan Books owner Nick Cooke told the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Saturday that he called police on a protester whom he said had confronted Steve Bannon while browsing the shop. “Steve Bannon was simply standing, looking at books, minding his own business,” said Cooke. “I asked her to leave, and she wouldn’t. And I said, ‘I’m going to call the police if you don’t,’ and I went to call the police and she left.” After the story garnered considerable criticism on social media in the wake of earlier instances of Trump administration members being asked to leave restaurants or confronted by protesters, Cooke added: “We are a bookshop. Bookshops are all about ideas and tolerating different opinions and not about verbally assaulting somebody, which is what was happening.” In a letter to the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association, of which Cooke is a member, Second Shelf Books founder A.N. Devers noted: “It is Mr. Cooke’s right to fraternize with whoever he wishes and call the police on customers who he wishes to leave, but it is not befitting a member or leader of the ABAA.”
In Germany, former banker and Berlin state finance minister Thilo Sarrazin is suing Verlagsruppe Random House for damages stemming from their decision not to publish his newest book, HOSTILE TAKEOVER: How Islam Hampers Progress and Threatens Society, as planned in August. Sarrazin, whose 2010 book Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany is Digging its Own Grave) caused controversy with its anti-immigration stance, had signed with Random House in November 2016 for his newest nonfiction book, billed as a “close reading of the Quran” and turned in the manuscript in February. But Random House decided in May not to publish HOSTILE TAKEOVER, saying in a court hearing held Monday that Sarrazin delivered a “labor-intensive” manuscript that required excessive factchecking. The book is now set for publication by Munich-based FinanzBuch Verlag in late August, while the judge overseeing the hearing is urging Sarrazin and Random House to settle.