'Survivor''s Richard Hatch has penned a memoir, while paperback rights to Ann Perlman's 'Infidelity' brought on a heated auction

By Matthew Flamm
Updated September 15, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

PAPERBACK WRITER When agent Jodie Rhodes initially peddled Ann Perlman’s memoir Infidelity to New York publishers, she received some 40 rejection letters. But that only made the heated three-way auction for paperback rights — which Broadway Books won with a $250,000 bid — that much sweeter for author and agent. ”This was a mission for me,” says Rhodes, who eventually convinced the San Francisco-based independent publisher MacAdam/Cage to bring Infidelity out as a hardcover on its debut list this month. Rhodes says she has ”a vague memory” of Broadway Books being among the New York houses that passed on the original manuscript, but Broadway editorial director Gerald Howard says if that’s so, it was by someone who is no longer there. ”Since nobody around here seems to remember it, we’re entirely chagrin-free,” Howard says. He adds that the book, which tells the story of three generations of adulterous relationships, gives ”an amazing picture of a ’50s marriage.”

SNAKE EYED Ultimate Survivor Richard Hatch may have been just as unpopular with New York book editors as he was with TV viewers. His proposal — which was heavily autobiographical — drew negative responses from those who perused it. ”It was one of the most singularly depressing reading experiences in my entire career,” says one top editor, who found the chapters on Hatch’s early life pointless. ”He’s getting his 15 minutes, like Darva Conger.” Simon & Schuster publisher David Rosenthal, one of the bidders, was more diplomatic: ”It’s a tough book to do under any circumstances, given the time frame … The only thing worse than not getting the book is getting the book.” Although early reporting indicated that St. Martin’s had offered Hatch $450,000 for the memoir, publicity director John Murphy emphasized, ”There’s no deal yet. All parties are still negotiating.”