Another BEA Dispatch from Amanda

Today was the first official day of BEA. Navigating the aisles was treacherous as booksellers vied for galleys and freebies. The frustrating/funny thing about BEA is that many of the people that you want to talk to have more important people to snag, and the people who want to talk to you are those you’re trying desperately to avoid.
We met this morning with people from Picador, which publishes superb paperbacks (Marilynne Robison is one of their authors). They told us about a new collection of interviews from the Paris Review (our buyer Carole was really excited them), and they have three books they’re reissuing in conjunction with films debuting next fall: Zoe Heller’s What Was She Thinking: Notes from a Scandal, The Good German by Joseph Kanon (both of these movies star Cate Blanchett), and Augusten Burrough’s with Scissors. We’re excited to work some of these books into Harvard Book Store’s new book club program.

Before lunch, we strolled around and stopped by the McSweeney’s booth and talked to Andrew (from The Believer Magazine) and Eli from McSweeney’s. We chatted about the possibility of having some type of big event in the fall, since several of their authors are local. I’d love to do it, and hope they come through.

This afternoon, we met with people from Harvard, Yale and MIT University Presses. They always publish a lot of local authors, and this fall will be no exception. Highlights include Alan Wolfe, Jon Levenson, Jon Meada, Martin Nowak, Nancy Seasoles and Owen Gingerich. I was excited to see that they have a collection of poetry from Geoffrey Hill, a British poet that a lot of my friends have been raving about.

We also talked about how October is the 100th anniversary of Hannah Arendt’s birth. Her student and biographer, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, is coming out with a new book about her. We’re starting to think about how we can celebrate Arendt and her work with a display or some type of author event.

Tonight I’ll be attending a cocktail party with the LBC people before heading off to a dinner hosted by Walker Bloomsbury at the International Spy Museum. I’m a closet spy novel fan and I am incredibly excited.

More later!