Plus, HarperCollins picks up a debut from New Yorker assistant

By Matthew Flamm
Updated July 27, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Credit: Jerry Garcia Illustration by Chris Pyle

Lucky Girls

type
  • Book
genre

LIFE AND DEAD The Grateful Dead, arguably the most popular band in rock & roll history — and certainly the one with the most devoted fans — is about to get the full biographical treatment. Broadway Books has just acquired ”A Long, Strange Trip: The Inside Story of the Grateful Dead,” by Dennis McNally, who was anointed official biographer 21 years ago after Jerry Garcia read his biography of Jack Kerouac, ”Desolate Angel.” McNally, who is the band’s publicist, will combine a history of the Dead with a look at the Northern California ”Beat and post-Beat and hippie culture, stuff nobody else has heard about,” says Gerry Howard, Broadway’s editorial director, who won the book with a mid-six-figure offer. ”It’s also a story about the rock & roll business, because the Dead is a kind of capitalist countercultural collective,” Howard adds. ”They could teach [General Electric CEO] Jack Welch a thing or two.”

‘LUCKY’ STRIKE The debut-fiction issue of The New Yorker — which last year spawned book deals for two first-time writers — hasn’t lost its touch. Nell Freudenberger, a comely 26-year-old assistant at the magazine (she appears in a color photo beside her story, ”Lucky Girls”), has just struck a $100,000 deal with the Ecco Press imprint of HarperCollins for a collection of stories that have yet to be written. Freudenberger even had her choice of publishers: Nine houses were bidding for the proposed book, titled ”Lucky Girls,” with Hyperion reportedly offering $500,000. ”It’s unusual to have [just a proposal], but it’s also unusual to find a story that’s so polished and sophisticated first time out of the chute,” says Dan Halpern, editorial director of Ecco, adding that it showed how serious Freudenberger is that she chose ”to find the right fit” rather than take the bigger advance. ”The good news is there were 10 editors in New York who were so fierce in their pursuit of a book of literary short stories,” Halpern says. ”I think that speaks well of the industry.”

Lucky Girls

type
  • Book
genre
author
  • Nell Freudenberger
publisher
  • Ecco Press

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