Charles in Charge That was no ordinary first novel that Grove Atlantic acquired for $100,000 and published five years ago: Cold Mountain sold close to 3 million copies in hardcover and paperback. So it should come as no surprise that Charles Frazier might want to see what his next novel is worth on the open market. With his new agent, Amanda Urban, Frazier has circulated a one-page proposal for the book, which will be about a Cherokee regiment led by a Cherokee-speaking Confederate. Though there’s rampant speculation about what the book will go for — rumors range from $1 million to $5 million — Frazier and Grove Atlantic publisher Morgan Entrekin apparently have a strong relationship, and the independent literary house is still very much in the running for the title. ”I am working hard to put together the best offer I can so that we can continue to work together,” Entrekin said in a statement. ”I will support [Frazier] and wish him success whatever he decides.” Cautions an editor at another house, ”Morgan is probably the only publisher in town smart enough not to spend all the earnings from the first book on the second.”
Musical Chairs The Da Capo Best Music Writing series, which has featured both Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick and novelist and pop-music critic Nick Hornby as guest editors, will be overseen this year by novelist Jonathan Lethem. ”There was a great piece [by Lethem] that Nick Hornby chose, in which he confesses his dormant fantasies of wanting to be a ‘rock writer,”’ says Da Capo editor Jane Snyder, referring to the Motherless Brooklyn author’s ”Not a Go-Betweens Piece” (a paean to his favorite band), which was included in Best Music Writing 2001. ”If you look at his writing, he crosses genres — science fiction, noir — and he’s very aware of pop culture without losing himself in it,” adds Snyder, who was looking to move the collection toward a younger literary crowd. ”He was just the sort of person we wanted.” Best Music Writing 2002 will be out in October.