Thursday, 18 March 2010

Catching Up

The past few weeks have easily been, without exaggeration, among the busiest of my entire life, so I apologize if I neglected this space.

You may have heard we have launched a new series of classics, called The Calder Collection (read the Bookseller article here), and are working hard with the English National Opera on a new series of opera guides, to be published under the Overture Publishing imprint (read the announcement here).

My novel, Bestseller, is with the printers, and advance copies should be here soon. Elisabetta has lined up a number of interviews, reading-group visits and other promotional activities which have kept me busy even outside of office hours. At night, when I am not in a state of drunken stupor, I carry on with my translation of WH Auden's poems or do a bit of editing (Turgenev, Zoshchenko, what else?).

Great news yesterday, as Rosie Alison's book, The Very Thought of You, has been longlisted for the Orange Prize. As it was to be expected, we have been literally inundated with requests. Encouraging news from a commercial point of view too: the first printrun of our mass-market edition (13,000 copies), due to be released next week, is all but gone already, before publication.

A new book by Yasutaka Tsutsui – The Maid, one of his most popular books in Japan – has just come back from the printers. We are very excited.

A great review of Bykov's Living Souls in The Times by Elaine Fenstein, who aptly describes the novel as "a Catch-22 of modern Russia". Very good start. I look forward to celebrating with a triple vodka in April when he comes over for the London Book Fair.

On the classics front, we received finished copies of Dante's Inferno and Cavalcanti's Poems, among other books, and we are about to sign off our new edition of CĂ©line's Journey to the End of the Night.

In our spare time, lots of dinners with friends, as well as a full diary of work and social commitments (tomorrow off to the IPG Conference in Windsor, for example). The kids are getting more and more demanding as they learn to read and write, but remain the greatest joy even on the direst day.

All this may sounds great, but I can't wait to get away from it to be honest – we've booked a family trip through Holland and Flanders in early April – which will be followed by a week in Rome in May (I hope! – I haven't been for some time and I miss it).

I promise you won't have to wait another month for a new post.



  1. Thanks for reissuing Simon's The Flanders Road. Perhaps you could look into the availability of his earlier novels The Wind and The Grass. I hear they're his best but long, long out-of-print.

    BTW, the link to Inferno is broken.

  2. Rome and Amsterdam are nice, but Tel-Aviv is different, especially in the Spring.
    Well, I won't change your mind, so I'll wait as there is no point in mailing you a book proposal right now.


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