Kimberly Ayers Shariff has joined Penguin Random House in the newly created role of evp, director of strategy for diversity, equity & inclusion, starting on May 10 and reporting to ceo Madeline McIntosh. Shariff will also be joining the US Board. She was previously chief administrative officer at the American Ballet Theatre.
Megan Abbate has joined Bloomsbury Children’s as nonfiction editor. She was previously assistant editor at Roaring Brook Press.
Hannah Robinson has joined GCP Balance as an editor. She was at Tiller Press.
Hachette UK will move to having staff work three days a week from physical offices, starting June 21 and becoming official as of September 1. They are “providing a transition period over the summer.” At the same time, group HR director Melanie Tansey writes, “We now see home working as a crucial component of our working model and it’s here to stay…. That is why we’re transforming to a hybrid working model for the long term and believe it’s right for our business and for the wellbeing of all our staff.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that literary agency The Story Factory has ended their representation of Blake Bailey, author of a new Philip Roth biography, after allegations surfaced in online comments of sexual misconduct from when Bailey was a middle school teacher in the 1990s. Three individuals, one of them anonymous, claim Bailey “groomed” them as well as other female students for later sexual contact when he was an eighth grade English teacher at Lusher Middle School in New Orleans. The Times-Picayune reports that one former student, Eve Crawford Peyton, is accusing Bailey of rape.
The Story Factory told the LAT, “Immediately after we learned of the disturbing allegations made against Blake Bailey, The Story Factory terminated its agency representation with Mr. Bailey.” Bailey’s attorney Billy Gibbens said in a statement, “Mr. Bailey flatly denies the false allegations against him posted last weekend,” adding, “These scurrilous charges are anonymous, they report second-hand allegations from unnamed accusers, and they cannot be taken seriously.” But one of the women involved in the accusations show the Times-Picayune an email in which Bailey writes, “My behavior was deplorable, but I did nothing illegal.”
This year’s Authors Guild Foundation gala will be held virtually and streamed freely, staring at 7 PM on May 18., presenting awards to Louise Erdrich (for service to the literary community); and to author Ibram X. Kendi and One World publisher Chris Jackson (both literature that inspires change).