Archive - September 25, 2017

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The Under-Assistant West Coast Promotion Man by Bill Barich (Nigeria)

The Under-Assistant West Coast Promotion Man by Bill Barich (Nigeria)

This appeared recently in Narrative, a digital magazine dedicated to advancing literature. A MEMOIR By Bill Barich (Nigeria 1964-66) IN MY YOUTH I was chronically underemployed, always casting my lot with risky enterprises destined to fail, so when the illustrious firm of Alfred A. Knopf hired me as a book publicist, I thought my troubles were over. I had no idea how difficult writers can be. I imagined lofty literary chats with John Updike when he came to town, but I wound up steering hard-drinking authors away from bars and even rescuing one from an East Bay ashram. Updike I met only once by chance on the Sausalito ferry, and I was too tongue-tied to speak. The job came about by accident. An editor friend at Knopf hoped to open an office in San Francisco, but his wife chose to go to law school at Yale. Given my editorial experience at . . .

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