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    Hothouse: The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America's Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (Hardback) By (author) Boris Kachka

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    Description"Mad Men for the literary world." --Junot Diaz Farrar, Straus and Giroux is arguably the most influential publishing house of the modern era. Home to an unrivaled twenty-five Nobel Prize winners and generation-defining authors like T. S. Eliot, Flannery O'Connor, Susan Sontag, Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, Philip Roth, and Jonathan Franzen, it's a cultural institution whose importance approaches that of "The New Yorker" or "The New York Times." But FSG is no ivory tower--the owner's wife called the office a "sexual sewer"--and its untold story is as tumultuous and engrossing as many of the great novels it has published. Boris Kachka deftly reveals the era and the city that built FSG through the stories of two men: founder-owner Roger Straus, the pugnacious black sheep of his powerful German-Jewish family--with his bottomless supply of ascots, charm, and vulgarity of every stripe--and his utter opposite, the reticent, closeted editor Robert Giroux, who rose from working-class New Jersey to discover the novelists and poets who helped define American culture. Giroux became one of T. S. Eliot's best friends, just missed out on "The Catcher in the Rye," and played the placid caretaker to manic-depressive geniuses like Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Jean Stafford, and Jack Kerouac. Straus, the brilliant showman, made Susan Sontag a star, kept Edmund Wilson out of prison, and turned Isaac Bashevis Singer from a Yiddish scribbler into a Nobelist--even as he spread the gossip on which literary New York thrived. A prolific lover and an epic fighter, Straus ventured fearlessly, and sometimes recklessly, into battle for his books, his authors, and his often-struggling company. When a talented editor left for more money and threatened to take all his writers, Roger roared, "Over my dead body"--and meant it. He turned a philosophical disagreement with Simon & Schuster head Dick Snyder into a mano a mano media war that caught writers such as Philip Roth and Joan Didion in the crossfire. He fought off would-be buyers like S. I. Newhouse ("that dwarf") with one hand and rapacious literary agents like Andrew Wylie ("that shit") with the other. Even his own son and presumed successor was no match for a man who had to win at any cost--and who was proven right at almost every turn. At the center of the story, always, are the writers themselves. After giving us a fresh perspective on the postwar authors we thought we knew, Kachka pulls back the curtain to expose how elite publishing works today. He gets inside the editorial meetings where writers' fates are decided; he captures the adrenaline rush of bidding wars for top talent; and he lifts the lid on the high-stakes pursuit of that rarest commodity, public attention--including a fly-on-the-wall account of the explosive confrontation between Oprah Winfrey and Jonathan Franzen, whose relationship, Franzen tells us, "was bogus from the start." Vast but detailed, full of both fresh gossip and keen insight into how the literary world works, "Hothouse" is the product of five years of research and nearly two hundred interviews by a veteran "New York" magazine writer. It tells an essential story for the first time, providing a delicious inside perspective on the rich pageant of postwar cultural life and illuminating the vital intellectual center of the American Century.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Hothouse

    The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America's Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Boris Kachka
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 433
    Width: 155 mm
    Height: 231 mm
    Thickness: 38 mm
    Weight: 590 g
    ISBN 13: 9781451691894
    ISBN 10: 1451691890

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15710
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: BIO
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T4.0
    BIC subject category V2: BG
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: DSB
    B&T General Subject: 170
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 03
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    BIC subject category V2: KNTX
    BISAC V2.8: BIO007000
    BIC subject category V2: CBW
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/20CNTY
    BISAC V2.8: LIT007000
    Ingram Subject Code: BE
    Ingram Theme: GEOG/NEWYRK
    Libri: I-BE
    BISAC V2.8: HIS036000, BUS077000
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: E6
    B&T Approval Code: A23500000
    BISAC V2.8: BIO025000, LAN027000, BUS070060
    B&T Approval Code: A48186000, A28200000
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BISAC region code:
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BIC subject category V2: KJZ
    DC22: 070.509747/0904
    LC classification: Z473.F37 K33 2013
    DC22: 070.50974709
    DC21: 070.50974709
    LC subject heading:
    Thema V1.0: DS, DNB, KNT, KJZ, KNTP
    Illustrations note
    , black & white illustrations, colour illustrations
    Imprint name
    Publication date
    06 August 2013
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Review quote
    "This is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime book. With "Hothouse" Kachka has produced his very own "Mad Men" for the literary world--an exhilarating, beautifully written biography of FSG that's really an exhilarating, beautifully written biography of a literary culture."--Junot Diaz"