Sunday, September 15, 2002
Many who read Dave Eggers' "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" held the memoir close to their hearts, while the contrarian writer worked hard to put the publishing industry at a distance.
But as Eggers' prepares to self-publish his first novel next month ï¿½ printing it in Iceland and selling it through the Web site of his literary journal, McSweeney's ï¿½ he's unexpectedly turned to an industry power for help.
Eggers, who dismissed the agent he'd hired for his best-selling memoir, now has influential literary rep Andrew Wylie in his corner. Wylie's clients include Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis and The New York Times.
According to McSweeney's president Barb Bersche, Wylie was originally retained to sell foreign rights for a literary compilation novelist Michael Chabon is editing for the journal. It will benefit youth literacy programs in San Francisco in which Eggers, 32, has been especially active.
Wylie also has represented Eggers' new novel, "You Shall Know Our Velocity," in foreign markets, Bersche said.
"Dave and McSweeney's have no domestic representation, but needed help abroad, considering we have a staff of only three," she added.
Answering readers' questions on mcsweeneys.net, Eggers said Chabon's compilation of "genre stories ï¿½ crime, ghost stories, science fiction, westerns" ï¿½ will be published in a few months as an issue of McSweeney's.
Later, Random House's Vintage imprint will reprint the collection in paperback for U.S. readers.