The Naughty Schoolboy

Just who is Andrew Wylie and why is he stirring up so much bile in the publishing industry? "He's probably the most dishonest agent in the business," claims Scott Meredith, who is Norman Mailer's agent. "Wylie is to the literary business what Roy Cohn was to the legal business," snipes superagent Morton Janklow. "A sociopath," says Daphne Merkin, associate publisher at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Wylie, 41, is a peevish Manhattan literary agent whose most famous client is Salman Rushdie. It was Rushdie's novel, The Satanic Verses, that prompted the Ayatullah Khomeini to order his execution. The Wylie-Rushdie pairing is apt: if...

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