Chairman emeritus of Writers House Al Zuckerman is retiring 47 years after founding the agency. “A true legend of the industry,” the agency writes, “At the beginning of his storied career, Al was a one man shop, taking business meetings in a bank lobby; he retires having overseen the growth of the company to the industry-leading agency it is today, with over twenty agents and fifty employees. At the core of his success was Al’s extraordinary understanding of storytelling, begun with his doctoral thesis on Hamlet at Yale’s famed Drama School and continuing on through his own work as a drama professor, novelist, television writer and playwright.
Sebastián Páramo joins Deep Vellum as poetry editor, overseeing the acquisition of approximately five poetry titles per year.
Rochelle Clark has been promoted to director of advertising and creative operations for the Random House Publishing Group.
At Algonquin, Travis Smith has been promoted to marketing manager. Amanda Dissinger joined the New York office as a senior publicist. She was previously publicity manager at Ace Hotel Group.
For the Simon & Schuster Children’s imprint, Atheneum, Margaret K. McElderry, and Beach Lane Books: Chantal Gersch has been promoted to associate publicist, Devin MacDonald is now senior marketing manager, and Cassandra Fernandez moves up to assistant marketing manager. For Aladdin, Little Simon, and Simon Spotlight, Jenny Lu moves up to associate publicist and Savannah Breckenridge was promoted to marketing coordinator. Jill Hacking has been promoted to assistant manager, marketing operations and events.
Jillian Vandall Miao has been promoted to director, publicity at Random House Children’s.
Brad Hill has been promoted to director of audio sales for Harper Christian and Harper Focus.
Author and editor Daniel Menaker, 79, died Monday of pancreatic cancer. He was editor-in-chief of Random House from 2003 to 2007 (after working as an editor for both HarperCollins and Random House), with his book career coming after working 26 years at the New Yorker. RH Publishing Group president and publisher Gina Centrello wrote, “His love of the written word and the authors who shared their gifts through storytelling was unparalleled.”
1986 Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka will publish his third novel Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth — his first novel since 1973 — in Nigeria later this year. His publisher Bookcraft “confirmed there are plans to publish the book internationally in early 2021.”
The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) announced the winners of their extensive annual cookbook awards on Saturday (plus five books that were named “culinary classics”). Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee (Clarkson Potter) won in the American cookbook category as well as Book of the Year, and Milk Street: The New Rules by Christopher Kimball (Voracious) won in the General category. This year featured new categories and changes to the awards process and guidelines, including reduced entry fees, to “make it more accessible across the board.”
Shakespeare & Company in Paris joined independent bookstores asking for sustaining support from customers. In an email, the store wrote, “It is true that, like many independent businesses, we are struggling, trying to see a way forward during this time when we’ve been operating at a loss, with our sales down almost 80% since March. With this in mind, we would be especially grateful for new website orders from those of you with the means and interest to do so.”
In surveying the resourcefulness of indie booksellers, as well as their current existential challenges, Vox notes that the ABA has said 35 member bookstores have closed during the pandemic so far. Between mid-April and June, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC) distributed $2.7 million to booksellers in need.
Longtime owner of Valley Bookstore in Jackson Hole, WY Steve Ashley has sold the store to Wendy Dodson. It will close for November, and relocate down the street in December to a 2,000-square-foot space across from Persephone Bakery.