That was probably the right decision.

Woody Allen memoir scrapped by publisher

The release of Woody Allen’s memoir has been scrapped by publishers at Hachette Book Group a day after staff members staged a walk-out in protest.

Employees opted to support Ronan Farrow, who hammered the publishers for agreeing to release his estranged father’s book amid ongoing claims suggesting the Oscar-winning filmmaker molested the journalist’s sister, Dylan – Woody’s adopted daughter, and it appears the protest has prompted company bosses to rethink their release plans.

“Hachette Book Group has decided that it will not publish Woody Allen’s memoir Apropos of Nothing, originally scheduled for sale in April 2020, and will return all rights to the author,” a statement reads.

“The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was a difficult one. At HBG we take our relationships with authors very seriously, and do not cancel books lightly. We have published and will continue to publish many challenging books. As publishers, we make sure every day in our work that different voices and conflicting points of views can be heard.

“Also, as a company, we are committed to offering a stimulating, supportive and open work environment for all our staff. Over the past few days, HBG leadership had extensive conversations with our staff and others. After listening, we came to the conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible for HBG.”

Ironically, Hachette bosses were also behind Ronan Farrow’s recent release, Catch & Kill.

Meanwhile, Dylan Farrow has issued a statement thanking staff who protested on her behalf on Thursday.

She took to social media on Friday afternoon and wrote: “To each and every individual who, at great professional risk to themselves, stood in solidarity with my brother, myself, and all victims of sexual abuse yesterday: words will never describe the debt of gratitude I owe to you.

“For someone who has felt alone in my story for so long, yesterday was a profound reminder of what a difference can be made when people stand and unite together for what’s right. Thank you so very much.”


Got my copy today! Can’t wait to read it!!

Everything you need to know about The Never-Ending Present, the new Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip biography

Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip hung with Robert Plant, shot pool with the Rolling Stones and played pick-up hockey against a pair of illustrious Toronto Maple Leafs. The Hip was fond of marijuana. The band’s manager once told guitarist Rob Baker not to wear short sleeves on stage because he had “arms like ham.” And not everyone in Canada thought “Canada’s band” was all that great when it came to musical abilities.

These are some of the things we learn from The Never-Ending Present, a new biography on Downie and the Tragically Hip that offers contextual documentation of the band’s oeuvre, insight into the Hip’s inner-workings and enough sprinkles of backstage stories to keep things perky.

Released on April 3 and published by ECW Press, the book is written by music journalist Michael Barclay, who previously co-authored 2001’s Have Not Been The Same: The CanRock Renaissance, a landmark text on the emergence of this country’s alt-rock scene in the 1980s and ‘90s.

The Never-Ending Present takes its name from a song on Downie’s first solo album, Coke Machine Glow. To author Barclay, the title represents the band’s ethos: That the most important moment is the one at hand.

“I was writing this book while its subject was living with terminal cancer, a liminal state where one has no choice but to live day to day, which Gord Downie did until his final days, writing and creating and advocating as much as he could – as he always had in the never-ending present,” Barclay explains in a press release.

Downie, who posthumously won three Juno Awards in Vancouver last weekend (including one for artist of the year), died on Oct. 17, 2017, at the age of 53. Chapters of The Never-Ending Present are given over to the prolific final months of Downie’s life and career, including his cancer diagnosis and treatment, the final tour with the Hip and the activism attached to Secret Path, a concept album about an Indigenous youth who died in 1966 while fleeing a residential school in Northern Ontario.

Many of the book’s 482 pages document the band’s most remembered albums, including background tidbits that promise to be catnip to Hip fanatics. For example, the revelation that the making of the 1994 LP Day for Night was a real dope fest. “I think they smoked a quarter-pound of weed for the recording,” the album’s producer Mark Howard told the author. “And then when we mixed it, it was a half-pound of hash.”

Apparently, Led Zeppelin singer Plant loved that album. He also played with guitarist Rob Baker’s newborn son backstage when the Hip toured with Plant and Jimmy Page. Someone who wasn’t a fan of Day for Night was one of the band’s managers, Allan Gregg. Hearing the record for the first time, he thought it was unlistenable and unfinished. The band disagreed, and showed Gregg the door: “We think it might be better to have you as a friend than as a manager.”

The book is unauthorized, in that members of the Hip – or relatives or current management – did not participate in the process of putting it together. Barclay instead interviewed other musicians and associates, and drew on quotes from other sources.

One of the more productive interview subjects is former manager Jake Gold (the one who told guitarist Baker to cover his “ham” arms onstage). Gold provides illumination into the machinations of the record business, while offering colourful anecdotes as well. Among others: When the Hip opened for the Rolling Stones in Europe in 1995, Mick Jagger and the others watched the band from side stage. “Afterward,” recalls Gold, “each one of [the Stones] came up to the band and said, ‘Way to go! You guys are the real deal, real rock ‘n’ roll guys.’”

From then on, Hip members were welcome backstage, where they shot pool with Keith Richards. No mention if they let him win.

Other than a sentence about Downie’s divorce from his wife (and mother to his four children), the personal lives of the band members are not part of the narrative. The singer’s passion for hockey is noted, though. For a summer game in Kingston with former Leafs Wendel Clark and Kirk Muller, Downie drove in from Toronto and slept in his car so he wouldn’t be late to the game. He played goaltender; Muller told Clark to hold back on his wrist shots: “If this guy takes one in the throat, there goes the band.”

Since he doesn’t talk to the Hip themselves, Barclay doesn’t get deep into the tensions involved within a band described by an anonymous colleague as “Gord and the Kingston 4.” It is divulged that early in the Hip’s career, Downie stipulated that he would be the group’s lone lyricist.

Although he argues against the notion that the band wasn’t musically gifted, Barclay isn’t afraid to present the suggestion. One unnamed person contacted by the author for his thoughts on the Hip politely declined to contribute to the book: “I actually think they are mostly terrible and remain shocked that people love them so much,” reads an e-mail to the author, presented in a chapter subtitled “Band of Ringos.”

The book ends with a scene at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square, where a tribute concert happened one week after Downie died. “There was no Gord Downie here, no Tragically Hip,” writes Barclay. “There never would be again.”

Not so fast. “That wasn’t the end,” Patrick Downie told reporters recently after accepting Juno awards for his brother’s 2017 solo album Introduce Yerself. “[Gord] did a lot of music in his final time.”

The never-ending present, then. A coda calls.


Congratulations to all the winners!!

Michael Redhill, Bellevue Square author, wins Giller Book Prize

Michael Redhill has won the Giller Prize, Canada’s richest literary award, for his novel Bellevue Square.

Redhill was named winner of the $100,000 honour at a televised Toronto gala Monday night, the first Giller Prize awarded since the death of founder Jack Rabinovitch in August.

Bellevue Square tells the story of a woman who tries to track down her doppelganger following rumours that someone who looks like her hangs out at Bellevue Square, a park in Toronto’s Kensington Market.

Redhill seemed shocked as he accepted the prize and gave a tearful speech thanking his supporters as well as the late businessman Rabinovitch.

“I was a little more emotional than I was expecting to be — but life doesn’t prepare you for receiving a $100,000 cheque and then addressing people live across the nation, so I think I will probably have no memory of this evening in about 20 minutes, just to protect myself,” he said with a laugh in an interview after the awards ceremony.

“Living as a writer, you sometimes surf on credit and goodwill, and this will make me a much better risk for the various people who may have to help me in the future,” he said. “But right now, I can row my own boat.”

Redhill will be interviewed on CBC Radio’s q Tuesday morning.

This year’s shortlist included first-time nominees as well as past contenders. The four remaining finalists receive $10,000 each.

– Rachel Cusk for her novel Transit
– Ed O’Loughlin for his novel Minds of Winter
– Eden Robinson for her novel Son of a Trickster
– Michelle Winters for her novel I am a Truck

Redhill started out as a literary writer, poet and novelist but branched out in the mystery genre in 2006.

Bellevue Square was inspired by the things he learned when he was a mystery novelist and centres on a park in Kensington Market that “is a strange kind of clearing house for humanity,” he said.

“It’s been 11 years since I published a book under my own name, so it’s fun to come out again,” said Redhill, who was born in Baltimore, Md., but grew up in Toronto.

“This is more of a literary novel that explores what is a person, what is consciousness, how do we know we are who we think we are and all those kinds of things.”

Rabinovitch, a Montrealer who dreamed up the prize with longtime pal Mordecai Richler, established the award in 1994 as a tribute to his wife, literary journalist Doris Giller, a year after her death. His aim was to create a literary prize that honoured her memory while also celebrating excellence in Canadian fiction (both novels and short stories).

“For the price of a dinner in this town, you can buy all the nominated books. So, eat at home and buy the books,” Rabinovitch famously recited, as his signature line, at every Giller Prize gala.

The prize has also sparked a so-called “Giller effect:” a significant boost in sales and exposure for both nominees and, especially, the winners.


Looking forward to reading that one!!

Leonard Cohen’s final book due out in October 2018

TORONTO — Leonard Cohen’s final book, which he finished in the months before his death last November, will hit shelves next year.

McClelland and Stewart says it will release “The Flame” on Oct. 16, 2018.

The publishing house describes the book as “a stunning collection of Cohen’s last poems, selected and ordered by the author in the final months of his life.”

The book also has excerpts from his notebooks as well as the full lyrics to his final three albums and those written by Cohen for the album “Blue Alert” by his collaborator Anjani.

Readers will also get to see prose pieces and illustrations by the Montreal-born “Hallelujah” singer-songwriter, who died Nov. 7 at age 82.

McClelland and Stewart calls the book “an enormously powerful final chapter in Cohen’s storied literary career.”

“During the final months of his life, Leonard had a singular focus — completing this book taken largely from his unpublished poems and selections from his notebooks,” Robert Kory, Cohen’s manager and trustee of the Cohen estate, said Friday in a statement.

“The flame and how our culture threatened its extinction was a central concern. Though in declining health, Leonard died unexpectedly.

“Those of us who had the rare privilege of spending time with him during this period recognized that the flame burned bright within him to the very end. This book, finished only days before his death, reveals to all the intensity of his inner fire. ”

McClelland and Stewart publisher Jared Bland said the book is “full of Leonard Cohen’s signature combination of grace, humour, wisdom, and heartbreaking insight into the fragility and beauty of this world we all share.”

“It will endure as a testament to his humanity and genius, and delight his millions of fans around the world,” said Bland.


It’s a great read!

Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’: 10 things we learned

Tramps like us: baby, we were born to read.

Hardcore Bruce Springsteen fans will already have a copy of his new memoir, Born to Run. Everybody else should hurry up and get one.

As a writer, Springsteen is funnier than you might expect and adept at getting into the nitty-gritty emotion of his life.

His prose style appears easy-breezy, but he’ll sneak up on you with a lovely turn of phrase or incisive observation that’s profoundly affecting.

Springsteen also admits: “I haven’t told you ‘all’ about myself. Discretion and the feelings of others don’t allow it. But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise: to show the reader his mind.

“In these pages I’ve tried to do that.”

He succeeds. Here are 10 revelations from Born to Run:

1. Depression turns up in Springsteen’s family, particularly affecting his father, Doug. When Springsteen was 16 and his grandmother died, his father became unhinged to the point where Springsteen had to face the fact that his dad was truly not well.

The author is almost too good at describing what it feels like to face the black dogs and in the chapter titled Zero To Sixty In Nothing Flat, he does just that. Depression hounded him when he was in his early 60s, and he writes about how wife, Patti Scialfa, and anti-depressants saved his bacon.

2. You may have known Springsteen was raised Catholic, but the book makes it clear that he was CATHOLIC. He was even an altar boy, and writes about getting cuffed by the priest at a 6 a.m. mass for not knowing his Latin responses.

His fifth grade teacher tried to help:

“Sister Charles Marie, who’d been present at the thrashing, handed me a small holy medal. It was a kindness I’ve never forgotten.”

Anyone who ever got backhanded by a guy in a surplice and cassock can relate.

Doing hard time in ye olde Catholic Church and his often rocky relationship with his father appear to be the crucial elements of Springsteen’s formative years. Not in a good way.

He was eventually able to work things out with his father, however.

3. As he learned to play guitar, a young Springsteen fantasized that the Rolling Stones would come to town, have a crisis and need him to replace an ailing Mick Jagger. The fantasy was always the same: The crowd went wild!

4. Springsteen hates the sound of wind chimes. In his childhood an abusive neighbour had some at his house on Institute Street.

5. At age 21, he didn’t know a single person who’d ever been on a plane, couldn’t drive a car himself and had never had a drink. One of the best things about Born to Run is how Springsteen captures 1950s and ‘60s small-town America and shows how profoundly life has changed for regular working stiffs over the last 60 years.

6. Other than a brief stint tending his aunt’s lawn, Springsteen says he has never worked at anything other than being a musician and performer. That doesn’t mean he didn’t have his doubts. About landing on the covers of both Newsweek and Time magazines in 1975 he writes, “I’d fixed it good so we couldn’t go back, only forward, so that’s where we went.”

7. Thanks to unpaid taxes, lousy first contracts and the usual young artist errors, Springsteen was broke until 1982, a decade after he first signed with Columbia Records.

8. The singer had an unexpected late life friendship with Frank Sinatra, which began after he and his wife were invited to a party by Sammy Cahn’s wife Tita — who Patti had encountered at the nail salon.

9. After the terrifying Northridge earthquake of 1994 in California, where Springsteen and his wife and kids were living at the time (his youngest son had just been born), the singer called Tommy Mottola, then president of Sony, and got a corporate jet to take him and his family back to New Jersey. In a 508-page memoir, that’s the closest thing to any sort of ‘star’ behaviour that ever comes up.

10. He works hard at being a good and present father to his three kids.

“Our house was free of gold albums, Grammys or another musical mementos. My kids didn’t know Badlands from matzo ball soup. When they were children, when I was approached on the street for autographs, I’d explain to them that in my job I was Barney (the then-famous purple dinosaur) for adults.”

Springsteen is straight-up about his kids’ response to seeing his first music video (for Dancing in the Dark) many years after it was made:

“Dad, you look ridiculous!”


With all due respect, I didn’t think that she was done before, and I don’t think that she’s done now.

J.K. Rowling announces the end of Harry Potter: ‘I think we’re done’

Hold your new copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child close, people! After nearly 20 years, seven novels, eight feature films, and theme park attractions around the world, J.K. Rowling announced she is officially done expanding the trajectory of the boy wizard at the center of it all.

Speaking Saturday night at the London premiere of Cursed Child’s stage production, Rowling told press that Harry “goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done.”

Rowling’s announcement comes as Cursed Child ends a little over a month of preview runs and officially opens to the public. Further elaborating on her decision to conclude Harry’s story with the play, the author added: “This is the next generation, you know. So, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”

Parts I and II of Cursed Child’s printed script, which received glowing critical reviews and shattered preorder records, went on sale Sunday at midnight. The play, which is currently set to run through Dec. 2017, tells the story of Harry, Ron, and Hermione 19 years after the events of the franchise’s final novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and also focuses on Harry’s son, Albus.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is now playing at London’s Palace Theatre. Tickets are currently sold out, though 250,000 seats will be available for purchase beginning Aug. 4.


Nope, I’m not the Dan that he’s referring to. I wish!!

Purple reign: Prince announces he’s writing memoir

NEW YORK — Prince has been pretty prolific in the studio lately, but the pop veteran is apparently finding time to write a memoir.

It was announced Friday that Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House, had acquired the book. And Prince shared the news himself at a Manhattan club that night, telling the crowd, “The good people at Random House made me an offer I can’t refuse.”

Prince revealed that the working title for the book is The Beautiful Ones. A person he referred to as “my brother Dan” is “helping me with it,” he added, “and he’s a good critic…He’s not a ‘yes’ man at all.”

A press release describes the memoir as “an unconventional and poetic journey through (Prince’s) life and creative work — from the family that shaped him and the people, places, and ideas that fired his creative imagination, to the stories behind the music that changed the world.”

The book will be published in fall 2017.


Can’t wait to read it!!

Amy Schumer Book ‘The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo’ Scores Massive 8-Figure Deal

Fresh off her Emmy win, Amy Schumer has inked an eight-figure deal with Simon & Schuster imprint Gallery Books for The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, a funny memoir, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

The book is said to be a series of comedic essays looking at the Emmy-winning star’s family, childhood and feminist politics. Similar books by Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling and others have been reliable bestsellers. Initial sales of Fey’sBossypants exceeded two million copies. There are few sure things in publishing but a funny book from Schumer would be on the short list of guaranteed bestsellers. Secrecy surrounding the project was tight. Editors had to go to the offices of Schumer’s book agent David Kuhn to read the proposal. Eight publishers bid on the project.

Entertainment Weekly reported the winning bid was in the $8 million to $10 million range, echoing early speculation among publishing insiders about the book’s value. Sources tell THR that bidding topped $6.5 million on Monday afternoon before the auction’s final round of offers.

Schumer’s reps did not respond to THR’s request for comment.

Fey received a $6 million advance for her book. Lena Dunham got $3.7 million for Not That Kind of Girl. Aziz Ansari got $3.5 million for Modern Romance, which was a New York Times bestseller when it published in June.

Schumer is having quite a year. She won an Emmy Sunday for best variety sketch series for her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer, which has been renewed for a fourth season.

Earlier this year, her film Trainwreck, which she wrote and starred in, was a breakout hit for Universal, earning $137.7 million worldwide. The Judd Apatow-helmed project was a semi-autobiographical story, and seems to have whet the public’s appetite for more stories from the comedian.

Schumer is attached to star in a comedy for Fox, which has Jonathan Levine attached to direct. Schumer and her sister, Kim Caramele, reworked an initial script by The Heat’s Katie Dippold. It centers on a mother and daughter who find themselves kidnapped while on vacation in Brazil.

Schumer is also writing a screenplay with her new BFF, Jennifer Lawrence. They two actresses would play sisters in the film.

Schumer was repped by David Kuhn of Kuhn Projects on the book deal. She is also repped by UTA and Schreck Rose.


I Bet You Think This Book Is About You.

Carly Simon to release memoir

Carly Simon is set to release her revealing memoir three years after inking her first book deal.

The You’re So Vain hitmaker initially secured an agreement with bosses at Random House to write an autobiography in 2012, but after a series of delays, she has finally finished her memoir, titled Boys in the Trees, which will be released on November 24 through Flatiron Books.

In a statement announcing the tome, Simon teases she’ll be revealing a lot of untold stories from her life that she’s previously kept secret.

It reads: “This book is my way of going back through my childhood, my music, my romances, my marriage… and trying to make sense of it all. I’ve been working on it for so long that it feels like my third child… but now it’s time to send that child out in the world. It’s one of the most frightening – and exciting – things I’ve ever done.”

Simon was famously married to James Taylor, and also romanced the likes of Cat Stevens, Kris Kristofferson, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and Mick Jagger.


This is superb news!!

Harper Lee to Publish First Novel in Over 50 Years

After more than 50 years, author Harper Lee will follow up her beloved, and only, book To Kill a Mockingbird with her second novel, Go Set a Watchman, set for release on July 14th, publisher HarperCollins announced today.

he recently unearthed book is a quasi-sequel to Lee’s 1960 classic, but as the author explained in a statement, Go Set a Watchman was actually written first and would eventually inspire Mockingbird. “It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman and I thought it a pretty decent effort,” Lee said. “My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel from the point of view of the young Scout. I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told.”

Set in the mid-Fifties, Go Set a Watchman finds a grown-up Scout, a.k.a. Jean Louise Finch, traveling from New York back to her home of Maycomb, Alabama to visit her father, Atticus. The book centers around Scout’s relationship with her father and his worldview, as well as her attitude towards her hometown in a new era of continued, if not heightened, racial tension. Go Set a Watchman will feature a number of other Mockingbird characters.

While Lee said she’d lost track of Watchman, her friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered the original manuscript attached to a typescript of To Kill a Mockingbird last fall. “After much thought and hesitation I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication,” Lee said. “I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”

Published by J.B. Lippincott in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird is Scout’s coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of a racially charged trial, in which Atticus defends Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. Widely considered an American classic, the book won the Pulitzer Prize upon its initial publication and was turned into an equally beloved film in 1962 featuring Gregory Peck’s iconic performance as Atticus Finch.