Galley Girl: Terrorist Attack Fallout Edition

  • Share
  • Read Later

An American flag is posted in the rubble of the World Trade Center


ReganBooks/HarperCollins planned to publish "The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice" by New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, in November. But the tragedy at the World Trade Center mandated that a new chapter be added to the book. The publishing house is now rushing out the book for November 13, with the material embargoed until then. 60 Minutes and the Today Show are on board.


PW chronicles the impact of September 11 on the publishing industry. A few examples:

  • Authors on tour were stranded around the country. Many postponed or canceled their tours.

  • Scheduled author interviews were instantly canceled by the media. The only authors in demand were those who could speak about newsy topics. Some books were all deemed questionable by publishers, including thrillers (especially ones about terrorism), military titles, books that sport cover images of planes or tall buildings, and humorous takes on travel. The Today Show canceled 27 author appearances.

  • Parties and promotional events were canceled by publishers.

  • University presses, who tend to publish extensively in fields such as Islam and terrorism, found that they had hit the jackpot.

  • Books about terrorism, Islam, Nostradamus and grieving, spirituality and mourning were suddenly in the ascendancy.

  • The publication of various books was delayed, such as "My Declaration of Independence" by Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords (Simon & Schuster).

    FRIEND OF THE COURT:If we didn’t have Chief Justice William Rehnquist, we wouldn’t have George W. Bush. So do we owe our current president to Watergate counsel John Dean, who championed Rehnquist’s nomination? In October, the Free Press will publish "The Rehnquist Choice: The Untold Story of the Nixon Appointment that Redefined the Supreme Court" by John Dean. According to his publisher, Dean’s book is "the explosive, never-before-revealed story of how William Rehnquist became a Supreme Court Justice, told by the man responsible for his candidacy." Author tour


    In February, Pantheon will publish "Nigger: A Problem in American Culture" by Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard Law School and an occasional TIME contributor. According to the publisher, "It is perhaps the most consequential social insult in American history and, at the same time, a word that reminds us of ‘the ironies and dilemmas, tragedies and glories of the American experience. Now, Randall Kennedy ‘puts a tracer on nigger,’ in order to identify its use and analyze the controversies to which it has given rise. With unprecedented candor and insight he explores such questions as: How should ‘nigger’ be defined? Is it more or less hurtful than any other racial epithet? Should blacks be able to use ‘nigger’ in ways that others should not? Should the law view ‘nigger’ as a provocation strong enough to reduce the culpability of a person who responds violently to it? Should a person be fired from his or her job for saying ‘nigger’? What methods can be used to deprive ‘nigger’ of its destructiveness?" Author tour, including an appearance on the Today Show.


    In November, PublicAffairs will publish "Hit to Kill: The New Battle Over Shielding America From Missile Attack" by Bradley Graham, longtime military and foreign affairs correspondent for the Washington Post. According to the publisher, this is "the definitive account of the biggest national security issue of our time: the precipitous and politically charged revival of national missile defense."


    Dava Sobel’s "Longitude" became an international bestseller, translated into more than 20 languages. Sobel, a former NYT science reporter, went on to write "Galileo’s Daughter," the story of the renaissance scientist’s life and times, and his relationship with his daughter, Suor Maria Celeste, a Poor Clare nun. Now, Sobel has edited and translated "Letters to Father: Suor Maria Celeste to Galileo, 1623-1633" (Walker; November 16). Kirkus is transported, giving the book a starred review. "The gentle, intelligent voice of Galileo’s daughter speaks across the centuries in 124 remarkable epistles--published for the first time in English — written to her father in the early 17th century...Lively and lovely. Making these available to the English-speaking world is a great public service." Both the author and the publisher are donating all proceeds from the book to the Poor Clares of New Mexico.


    Nepotism is the name of the game, says Adam Bellow, the book review editor of The National Review. Think George W. Bush. Think Al Gore. Think Adam Bellow, the son of novelist Saul Bellow, and the author of "In Praise of Nepotism" (Doubleday; April). Says his publisher, "Nepotism, the favored treatment of one’s relations, is a custom with infinitely more practitioners than defenders — especially in America, where a 200-year war has been waged against it by the forces of enlightened reform. It offends our sense of fair play and our meritocratic ethos, where what we have is supposed to be earned. But this campaign has been only partially successful. Indeed, so pronounced is the current trend of children of successful and famous people to follow their parents’ footsteps in settings from politics and business to sports and the arts to Hollywood and the theater that we can describe it as ‘the new nepotism’...In this timely work, the first book ever written about nepotism, Adam Bellow brings new dignity and broad-ranging interdisciplinary scholarship to this misunderstood and stigmatized practice...Bellow argues that nepotism comes down to the bonds between children and parents, the transmission of family legacies, the cycle of generosity and gratitude that knits our whole society together. ‘In Praise of Nepotism’ is a book that will ruffle feathers, create controversy, and open and change minds."


    PW flips over "Esther Stories" by Peter Orner (Houghton Mifflin/Mariner; paper; November 2), giving it a starred review. "Innovative, original and fresh as a breath of perfumed summer air, these 34 stories capture pure emotion so vividly they tremble with contained life...This extraordinarily fine collection should establish Orner as a new star of American short fiction." Author tour.


    It’s not only children who are being left alone at home these days. In February, Quill/HarperCollins will publish a paperback edition of "The Latchkey Dog: How the Way You Live Shapes the Behavior of the Dog You Love" by dog trainer Jodi Andersen. Says her publisher, "With more and more pet owners on career paths that require extended office hours, dogs are spending more time by themselves than ever before. Left to his own devices, Rover is sure to find many ways to let his owners know exactly how he feels about his isolation, whether by soiling the house or destroying furniture...Andersen provides practical advice to help all owners change their dog’s — and their own — behavior in order to adapt to the demanding realities of 21st century living."


    Black and Latino students are disproportionately affected by "zero tolerance" policies in schools, reports "Zero Tolerance: Resisting the Drive for Punishment in Our Schools" by William Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, and Rick Ayers (New Press; paperback original; December 1). Kirkus is listening. "‘Zero tolerance’ initially meant that any student bringing a gun to school would be expelled for up to two years. In many schools, however, the policy has come to cover not only realistic replicas of firearms and knives, but objects that, but virtue of their shape and design, could cause any physical harm, or even give the appearance of being able to do so. It is this nebulous wording that has the editors worried...These are mostly sound essays illuminating how the media’s coverage of juvenile crime has led to blanket policies that can make little sense."