Wednesday, December 5, 2007

In the Company of Writers by Charles Scribner Jr

In the Company of Writers: A Life in Publishing
By Charles Scribner Jr (CS IV 1921-1995)
Charles Scribner & Sons Published 1990
Scribner Timeline

In 1945 Charles Scribner Junior (officially CS IV) joined his family's publishing firm. Charles was born in 1921, in Quogue, Long Island, New York, but raised in New Jersey from a young age. CS IV graduated from Princeton University in 1943, and promptly joined the Navy as cryptanalyst.

After the war was over, he joined the family firm in 1946, as the director of advertising and publicity. Scribner grew up knowing and being friends with well known authors such Ernest Hemingway, CS Snow, Scott Fitzgerald, PD James, Thomas Wolfe, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Alan Paton, Charles Lindburgh.

This book describes Charles's time as a publisher, director, chairman of Scribners, actions he took, and chances he missed. And always there were the authors. But the most famous friendship Charles had, was with Ernest Hemingway. This friendship was a continuation of Hemingway's ongoing friendship with Charles father (CS III).

Hemingway was a prolific letter writer and, in 1981, many of these letters were published by Scribner in Ernest Hemingway Selected Letters. It was met with some controversy as Hemingway himself stated he never wished to publish his letters. Further letters were published in a book of his correspondence with his editor Max Perkins, The Only Thing that Counts in 1996 [Wikipedia].

In the Company of Writers is a very nice book if you really want to know how a publishing company works. You follow all the actions Charles made, commiserate with the mistakes he made, and enjoy the successes. I enjoyed it, but it does get a little dry in places.

In 1984 Scribners became part of Macmillan Publishing, and later Scribner became an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Audio files of interviews by Charles Scribner IV about running a Publishing company, and about this book. Oh and this is read for the Bibliography challenge, which means I have now read 4 books for that challenge. Now I'm done. LOL

1 comment:

Carrie K said...

Scribner published Frances Hodgson Burnett too, for quite some time. Pretty interesting life and legacy the Scribners had.