Huffpost Business

Andrew Wylie On The State Of Publishing, And Repping Gates, Ellison, And Sarkozy

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New York literary agent Andrew Wylie seems perfectly happy to be known as "the Jackal"--the nickname that sticks even though he obtained it years ago in Britain during a publishing dustup whose baroque details have largely faded from memory. He's equally unruffled when book editors and rival agents call him an "evil madman," a "cold-eyed predator," and a "monster."

The 59-year-old Wylie, more famous than many of the 600-plus authors he represents, has devoted his career to shaking up the once-genteel book business on both sides of the Atlantic by doing things that just weren't done--stealing writers from fellow agents, demanding and receiving outrageous advances, and otherwise making a huge pain of himself in the service of his clients. (He became the Jackal in the course of securing a previously unheard-of $750,000 advance for Martin Amis, who--in an alleged act of betrayal that was the stuff of tabloid melodrama--retained Wylie after dumping his longtime agent, the wife of his best friend, fellow novelist Julian Barnes.)

Read the whole story at Portfolio