February 16, 2020
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The Big Two are now Penguin Random House and Sir Salman has a new gal pal

Bibliofile
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Leviathan Now

It’s official now, the Big Two have merged to become Penguin Random House. The new firm will publish a whopping 15,000 titles and will have 70 Nobelists on the roster. It’s not clear how this merger will work out on the ground in India but there will surely be a realignment of the marke­ting and editorial teams. An aut­hor with one of them till recen­tly, not an A-lister, says middle-level writers will be lost in the new behemoth. Some streamlining will be needed. The e-mail ann­oun­cing the merger first came from RH. Minutes later, two mails came in from Penguin that had same thing as an attachment.


Child’s Play

Sir Salman Rushdie has a new gal pal—designer and New York socialite Melissa Brody. He, 65, four times div­orced; she, 45, once divorced. Midn­ight’s  (greying) Child has been on the lookout for a muse. His last few outings, like Shalimar The Clown and The Enchantress of Flor­ence didn’t have his magic touch, and Luka and Fire of Life comes nowhere near Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Can Miss Brody fire Rus­hdie and help him come out of the Land of Chup?


A Cave For Edward

A publisher friend says the safest place for US whistleblower Edward Snowden will be to go to a big publishing house. He will be kept safe, wined and dined, and given a huge advance he can only whistle at. But tell-all books by insiders have not all been runaway hits. Rece­ntly, American Navy Seal Mark Owen’s No Easy Day, detailing the operation that got Osama, raised the issue of giving away security secrets. And the book never became the world bestseller it was supposed to be. Snowden’s of cou­rse could be a far more intriguing tale.

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