the take

Tom Wolfe Ditches FSG for More Money at Little, Brown

Photo: Getty Images

Little, Brown put out a press release this morning trumpeting their acquisition of Tom Wolfe’s new untitled novel, and the Observer’s Leon Neyfakh digs a little deeper into the white-suit-clad author’s move from Farrar, Strauss. “We just couldn’t agree on the price for the project. That was the only thing,” FSG editor-in-chief Jonathan Galassi says. To which we say: Good for you, Jonathan Galassi!

Wolfe and his agent, Lynn Nesbit, shouldn’t have been surprised that after his last FSG book was definitely a critical failure, and probably a financial failure, maybe Galassi wouldn’t want to sell the farm to buy the new one, described as a story of “class, family, wealth, race, crime, sex, corruption, and ambition” set in Miami. Especially when Galassi runs a publishing house so famous for its thriftiness that as recently as the late nineties, we heard FSG publicity assistants sent to Book Expo shared a hotel room and slept on the floor. Also, if we recall correctly, only in the last ten years did FSG stop hand-writing its royalty reports.

So how much money does it take to get a guy to abandon his publishing house of 43 years? We sure would like to know!

Update: And now we just might.

Tom Wolfe Leaves FSG After 43 Years, Will Publish New Novel With Little, Brown [NYO]
I Am Charlotte Simmons [Metacritic]
Analyzing Sales of Wolfe’s New Book [NYT]

Tom Wolfe Ditches FSG for More Money at Little, Brown