Agents and Editors
I agree with Michael Orthofer, the interaction between super-agent Andrew Wylie and super-awesome Playboy editor Amy Grace Loyd over the first-serial rights to Nabokov’s The Original of Laura is a bit gross.
From the New York Observer:
It was an inspired method, the flowers serving as a reference to Nabokov’s 1969 novel Ada, or Ardor, which was excerpted in Playboy—thus a reminder for Mr. Wylie of the magazine’s long and treasured association with the author. “It was part of my pitch to Andrew that Nabokov really liked publishing with Playboy, and how devoted Hef is to Nabokov and his legacy,” Ms. Loyd said.
Mr. Wylie was initially unresponsive.
“I would get nice notes back from him, but he really wouldn’t give me anything,” said Ms. Loyd, who’d curated a special feature marking the 50th anniversary of Nabokov’s Lolita as part of her tryout for the job.
Of course, Wylie tried to place this with The New Yorker, which apparently wasn’t all that interested.
So, the super-agent (once referred to as “The Greediest Man at Frankfurt”) came crawling back
on his knees with some insane demands.
There were a few sticking points in the negotiation, chiefly the fact that Mr. Wylie wanted Ms. Loyd to give an offer on the book without first reading a page of it.
Who does that? Oh, nevermind, don’t answer that. I’m just glad Amy got her piece . . . and hopefully a long, long shower.