The inside scoop on the book world: Nov. 5, 1999

By EW Staff
Updated November 05, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

The $ files

Amram Ducovny, father of David Duchovny, has sold his first novel, a noirish crime thriller set in Coney Island in the 1930s. ”It’s Isaac Bashevis Singer meets Raymond Chandler,” says Tracy Carns, publishing director of the Overlook Press, which will publish Coney next fall…. Bliss Broyard, daughter of the late New York Times critic Anatole Broyard, has signed with Little, Brown for around $300,000 to write a book about her dad. Mixed Blood will explore his African-American heritage, which he kept secret from her. ”She was raised to think that she was white…in the WASPiest of societies,” says a Little, Brown spokesman.

How un-fortunate

The editor in chief of St. Martin’s Press, Robert B. Wallace, resigned on Oct. 26, shortly after the New York publishing house recalled its controversial new biography, Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President. ”I do not in any way wish to have my name associated with Fortunate Son,” Wallace said in a statement. The book, by J.H. Hatfield, alleges that Republican presidential candidate Bush was arrested for cocaine possession in 1972 but Bush Sr. intervened and had the arrest stricken from the record. (Both Bush Jr. and Bush Sr. have hotly denied the accusation.) St. Martin’s recalled the book, however, upon learning that in 1988 the author was convicted of hiring a hitman to kill his boss with a car bomb. Hatfield, who served almost five years in a Texas prison for the crime, never revealed his background to his publisher. ”The book came through a highly reputable literary agency,” says John Murphy, PR director at St. Martin’s. ”There was no reason for us to question it.” Out of a print run of 90,000 copies, 70,000 had already been shipped. St. Martin’s has asked stores to return all unsold books so they can be destroyed.