Here’s an article about Richard Charkin’s move from Macmillan to Bloomsbury. Richard is a friend and someone I turn to when I need advice –and I always know that his advice won’t be quite like that of anyone else. I think it’s his scientific training that makes him see things so clearly, much more clearly than we muddle-headed literary types. It’s fascinating to think of him running Bloomsbury, which has in a mere 21 years (I remember when its founding was announced in London, not long after my son was born and when I was working for Valerie Eliot) established itself as a major force in the publishing world. I can’t wait to see how it grows under Richard’s leadership.
Here’s my favorite line from the article in Publishing News.
“He’s a maverick, an iconoclast, he has a great sense of humour, he’s combative and he does not accept the status quo,” said Nigel Newton.
And here’s a great bit from a recent blog post by Richard:
I was first on after the lawyers had spent an hour talking their very special language. I was pretty nervous. There was this grand old man of the book trade with lawyers and judges all around waiting to demolish me by clever argumentation and cross-examination. The opening exchange ran something like:
‘Mr Charkin, in your affidavit you describe yourself as a publisher.Where did you go to uiversity? Trinity, Cambridge. What did you study? Natural Sciences. There you are, m’lud, the man claims to be a publisher but he studied science.’
By the way, I have wondered if he took a new job just because he was sick of blogging. But there are thousands of loyal readers waiting for the new Bloomsbury Blog, and I’ll bet he’ll succumb.
Now playing: Ella Fitzgerald & Ellis Larkins – Nice Work If You Can Get It