Last night, legendary Knopf editor Ashbel Green died while at dinner with his wife, Elizabeth Osha, and friends near their Stonington, Conn., home. He was 84.
Mr. Green, who was known as “Ash,” started working at the publishing house in 1964 and went on to edit over 500 books by a stable of well-known authors, political figures and journalists such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Vaclav Havel, George H.W. Bush and Walter Cronkite.
To many in the publishing world, Mr. Green was one of the last of the old-style gentleman editors.
“You could hear his typewriter from anywhere on the floor,” said Paul Bogaards, director of publicity at Knopf. “He was a classic editor with a red pencil.”
“He was an editor’s editor,” said Knopf editor Gary Fisketjon. “Those kind of people are rare in any generation.
Having worked on his exhaustive biography of Lyndon B. Johnson for almost three decades, Robert A. Caro has delivered the manuscript for the fourth installment, leaving only one more volume before the magnum opus is complete. The Passage of Power will be published by Knopf in May, continuing the story begun in The Path to Power (1982), Means of Ascent (1990) and Master of the Senate (2002). Mr. Caro has already won the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award and the books have collectively sold more than 1 million copies.
Williamstown High School in New Jersey has removed two books from its summer reading list after complaints from parents. According to the Gloucester County Times, at issue was “a graphic depiction of a lesbian sex scene between a 31-year-old woman and a 13-year-old girl” in Haruki Murakami’s bestselling novel Norwegian Wood and “a drug-fueled, Read More
The appearance a few weeks back of “Send This as a Jpeg, or Whatever,” a blog that features “quotations from an iconic publishing veteran,” filled us with curiosity. Who is this cantankerous, yet nobly authentic, publishing veteran?
As the foremost chronicler of the young novelist Tao Lin’s every whim, The Observer was hoping we might break the story of Tao Lin’s next book deal, which he announced he was shopping a couple weeks back. Then, on a Sunday when our moods were already dampened by incessant rain and the looming prospect of Monday, Mr. Lin wrote to inform us that we had lost the story to Mike Vilensky at The Wall Street Journal. So he granted us an interview.
Robert Gates just retired from his job as secretary of defense. Now, of course, he is writing not one but two books.
The first, to be published in 2013, will be a memoir about his experience as the only secretary of defense to serve two different presidents from both parties while at war the entire Read More
Matt Bai did not want to write his second book just about Barack Obama. What he wanted, he said recently, were “stationary targets” that would allow him to run at his own pace. He wanted a subject that wouldn’t involve the kind of reporting where his face would be “pressed up against the glass.”
By Blake Bailey
Alfred A. Knopf, 770 pages, $35
John Cheever was inordinately fond of the word “inestimable”: It shows up twice in the brief preface to The Stories of John Cheever (1978), the best seller that pushed him at last to the top of the heap (he was now king of the short Read More
What could have happened is Knopf could have swallowed Doubleday whole.
That was the most extreme scenario floated whenever agents and other publishing people put their heads together over the past month and a half to speculate about the possible outcomes of last month’s Random House reorganization. Would Doubleday have to share Read More
Editors and other staff at the Knopf Publishing Group were informed this morning that Marty Asher, who has served as editor-in-chief of the company’s paperback division Vintage Anchor for two decades, had decided to step down in favor of a quieter, less administrative job as an editor-at-large at Knopf.
The announcement had been in Read More