At 96 years old, Herman Wouk sells a new novel, in a project spearheaded by my agent

Monday, April 9, 2012

Obviously my agent, Amy Rennert, cannot tell me a lot about what she is doing—not when she's in the run-up to a big sale, at least, or in the heat of auctions.  But today while Amy and I were talking about another confidential project (which is A okay, because it happens to be mine), she forwarded a link to something she called special.

I waited.  My email pinged.  I opened the linkWhaaaatttt? I said.

Because, as it turns out, ninety-six-year-old Herman Wouk, who won the Pulitzer Prize for The Caine Mutiny, has a new novel due out from Jonathan Karp at Simon & Schuster, a novel with Moses at its heart.  Mr. Karp and Mr. Wouk are, says Amy, no accidental pairing; in fact, Mr. Karp wrote his master's thesis on Wouk when in graduate school at New York University.

But neither are Amy and Mr. Wouk an accidental pairing.  I asked Amy for some behind-the-scenes insights.  This is what she said:

The new novel is outstanding. HW has long wanted to write a novel about Moses and in The Lawgiver he approaches the subject with great warmth, wisdom and imagination. It's a tour de force. Some of his earlier novels have long been favorites of mine—including City Boy, The Caine Mutiny (my father introduced me to it and I still have his original hardcover copy from 1951, the year it was published!) and Marjorie Morningstar—and getting to know Herman Wouk and work with him closely has been a great privilege and pleasure.    
Impressed?  I am. 


Sarah Allen said...

Please let this be me in 73 years. That is all.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Ann Hite said...

I love this, Beth. I always feel so old when people ask if Ghost is my first novel. I was 52 when I got the deal and 53 when Ghost was published. This gives me tons of hope I will be writing until I can't write no more ;). Thanks.

Caroline Starr Rose said...


My first adult novel was Wouk's Marjorie Morningstar...the first adult novel my mother read. I love that he's still writing!

Joanne Fritz said...

Gosh, I didn't even know he was still around... Hope I can read, let alone write, at that age.

How wonderful for him -- and for us! It sounds fantastic.

Serena said...

Wow, amazing to be publishing a new book at that age...shows that imagination never dies

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