Between the Lines

Between the Lines

The inside scoop on the book world

-- REVENGE IS SWEET Mimi Hare, who at 23 was head of development at James L. Brooks' Gracie Films (As Good as It Gets, Jerry Maguire), has teamed with British novelist Clare Naylor to write a biting, inside-Hollywood roman a clef called The Second Assistant. ''Some of the material is exactly as it happened to Mimi,'' says Molly Stern, the Viking Penguin senior editor who acquired the book for around $200,000. The novel follows a young woman who, says Stern, ''knows her Godard from her Fellini'' but ends up the assistant to the assistant of a powerful talent agent. Making walk-on appearances are the stars ''George C.'' and ''Julia R.''

-- PET PROJECT Laid-off editors don't retire; they become agents or, once in a while, cross over to the other side and turn into authors. Leslie Schnur -- the former editor in chief of Dell/Delacorte -- has just sold her first novel. Following a four-house auction, Atria Books has acquired The Dog Walker, about a copy editor-turned-pooch companion in Manhattan. ''I shared [the manuscript] with four people...and one of them, a younger editor, didn't know of [Schnur] at all,'' says Atria publisher Judith Curr. ''Everybody had to fall in love with the material before we could talk about it, and that's what happened.''

-- POETS FOR PEACE From now on, Laura Bush may want to be a little more careful about whom she invites to her literary events. Sam Hamill, editor of Copper Canyon Press, was one of the poets to have received an invitation to a White House symposium on ''Poetry and the American Voice.'' A critic of the administration's policy on Iraq, Hamill decided to make that day ''Poetry Against the War Day'' and sent out 50 e-mails to friends and colleagues. Within days, he received 2,000 responses, including poems contributed by Galway Kinnell, W.S. Merwin, and Adrienne Rich. ''We had to...open a website to handle the traffic,'' says Hamill, who plans to deliver a collection of the website's poetry to the White House. The First Lady's office immediately postponed the Feb. 12 symposium, complaining in a statement that the event was being turned into ''a political forum.''

Originally posted Feb 14, 2003 Published in issue #695 Feb 14, 2003 Order article reprints
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