The inside scoop on the book world

WE GIVE A DAMN St. Martin’s has long tried to lure Prince of Tides author Pat Conroy into writing another sequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. Although a recent New York Times column indicated that the on-again, off-again deal was virtually complete, neither St. Martin’s nor Doubleday — the publisher Conroy is under contract to — has come any closer to an agreement. Conroy and the Mitchell estate did recently clear an important hurdle when the trustees relinquished manuscript approval (which leaves Conroy free to kill off Scarlett O’Hara). ”We’ll see what happens if and when all the lawyers get together,” says Nan A. Talese, Conroy’s longtime editor at Doubleday, who would copublish any sequel with St. Martin’s. Doubleday has been a reluctant partner, though, since Conroy owes it two books. ”Everyone has to give up a little control, because it’s a stupendous project,” says Sally Richardson, publisher of St. Martin’s, which paid a reported $4.5 million for rights to the sequel nearly three years ago. Should Conroy’s version succeed, both publishers stand to make a fortune: Scarlett, the 1991 sequel by Alexandra Ripley, sold over 3 million copies in hardcover alone.

GRINCHUS MAXIMUS A grinch by any other name would be just as sweet…or would it? Publishers of the new Latin translation of the beloved Dr. Seuss classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! sure hope so. Tongue-twistingly titled Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit (literally, ”How the nasty individual named Grinch the birth of Christ stole”), this faithful adaptation has illustrations identical to the English version’s — but a little imagination was needed for modern phrases. So ”popcorn” became maizia inflata, or ”corn puffed up,” and ”refrigerator” became armarium frigidarium, or ”cooling chest.” Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers VP Marie Bolchazy says the company’s first foray into commercial bookselling is a departure from its educational tomes. ”We did this more for the fun of it,” she says. ”Our core constituency is Latin teachers, and sometimes they like to have something to teach besides Cicero.”