Motoko Rich reports on this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, and with no big deals happening, she's forced to justify her travel budget by following around publishing people to report on the Days of Their Lives. Luckily, she's picked out an excellent pair: brother-and-sister team Lorin and Anna Stein. He's a hot editor at FSG who during Frankfurt had three of his authors nominated for National Book Awards; she's an agent at Irene Skolnick and Associates who represents Julie Hecht and also handles foreign rights for the agency.
And what do Lorin and Anna do at Frankfurt? He goes apple picking with an avant-garde poetry publisher; she exhausts herself in marathon pitch sessions for Garth Stein. She plugs her brother's books to friends; he reads the first sentence of someone's novel and calls it (we assume) bullshit. He wears a "chocolate brown velvet jacket," while she wears "stylish outfits." (Motoko Rich, what are you implying about chocolate-brown velvet jackets?) "When I was a kid, this is what I would have imagined grown-up life to be," Lorin says, and we're not being sarcastic at all when we agree; this is the kind of idealized article that makes publishing seem way more cerebral and sparkling and glamorous than it actually is. Future Columbia Publishing Course applicants, do not be fooled!