Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Knopf's new list

Summer may be just beginning to take hold here in Western North Carolina, but at Accent on Books we're already deep into ordering books for the fall. Of course, with all the books out there (see previous post), we can't carry everything, and knowing which ones to choose and which to pass on is one of the most difficult -- and often frustrating -- parts of this business.

One company that is making it particularly difficult this time around is the Alfred A Knopf imprint of Random House. For decades, of course, Knopf has been one of the most distinguished names in American publishing, first as an independent house and, since the 1960's, as a part of Random House when Alfred Knopf sold his company to his good friend Bennett Cerf. However, Knopf's upcoming fall list is one of the most remarkable I have seen from any publisher or imprint in quite awhile. Here is a partial list of the authors with books in the fall 2009 Knopf catalog (in more or less chronological order):

Kazuo Ishiguro
Karen Armstrong
Lorrie Moore
Anne Tyler
Kay Redfield Jamison
A S Byatt
Peter Mayle
Chinua Achebe
Anne Rice
Harold S Kushner
Orhan Pamuk
Richard Russo
Vladimir Nabokov
Alice Munro

And, again, that's just one imprint of one publisher. Word is, fall 2009 could be one of the true banner seasons in recent memory for new books.

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