From the Golden Age …

Filed under: News — marcia at 9:56 am on Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The New York Times has an excerpt from “The Time of Their Lives: The Golden Age of Great American Publishers, Their Editors and Authors” about how editor Robert Giroux (who recently passed away) missed the chance to publish “The Catcher in the Rye.”

I gave [my boss at Harcourt, Eugene Reynal] the book to read. He didn’t like it, didn’t understand it. He asked me, “Is this kid in the book supposed to be crazy?” …“Gene,” I said, “I’ve shaken hands with this author. I agreed to publish this book.”

“Yes,” he said, “but, Bob, you’ve got to remember, we have a textbook department.” And I said, “What’s that got to do with it?” He said, “This is a book about a kid going to prep school.” So he sent it to the textbook people, who read it and said, “It’s not for us.” …

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