The inside scoop on the book world

ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE A.M. Homes—whose last novel, The End of Alice, was told from the point of view of a convicted pedophile—has jumped from Scribner to Morrow’s Rob Weisbach Books for her next novel, a satire of suburban life called Music for Torching. “It’s like twisted John Cheever,” says Rob Weisbach, who spent a rumored $150,000 for the novel and a book of stories. Though Homes had previously moved from Knopf to Scribner, her departure this time surprised industry execs. “Scribner did a brilliant publishing job for such difficult material,” says one editor. “It’s depressing to see that the author is gone for the next book.” Pat Eisemann, publicity director at Scribner, which bid unsuccessfully for Torching, says, ”There’s so much house hopping these days that you can’t take it personally.” Weisbach will publish the novel in 1999.

CONDE NASTINESS A concerned friend writes: Is Tina Brown‘s New Yorker under siege? Item #1: President Tom Florio‘s pending transplant to Condé Nast Traveler has media insiders twittering that Brown’s job may also be in jeopardy. Item #2: Not one but two new memoirs are devoted to mourning the dear departed days of the late, longtime New Yorker editor William Shawn (Here but Not Here, by Shawn’s erstwhile lover, Lillian Ross, and Remembering Mr. Shawn’s New Yorker, by Ved Mehta, one of the magazine’s aggrieved ex-scribes). Item #3: A caustic John Updike short story published in the June 8 issue contains what seems to be a vicious, if backhanded, swipe at the author’s employer. Perennial Updikean alter ego Bech bitterly derides “all these Englishpersons…breeding like wood lice in the rotting log piles of the New York literary industry.” Ooph.

—Alexandra Jacobs and Matthew Flamm