Crown Archetype

Inside Four New Heavyweight Biographies

igloo book buzz1This week’s Igloo Book Buzz celebrates the release of four major biographies that delve inside the lives of four distinctly different, supremely gifted individuals: Muhammad Ali, Ernest Hemingway, Otis Redding and Maurice Sendak. While Ali, Hemingway and Redding are instantly

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recognizable, Sendak is the wild card, with his art and such books as Where the Wild Things Are more renowned than his name. Here are compelling commentaries about each of these new biographies: STING LIKE A BEE: Muhammad Ali vs the United States of America, 1966-1971 by Leigh Montville (Doubleday, 5/16) 9780385536059Author Leigh Montville: “I’m only 18 months younger than Ali, so I dealt with the draft and Vietnam when he did, got married when he did, lived through the same headlines he did. I also covered five of his fights later in his career, so I had a small history with a bunch of the characters involved in his story. There was an easy familiarity with the subject matter from the start.  This is a slice of time book, not a biography. It is a commentary on how we lived during the sixties as much as what happened in Ali’s life. The issues around him then resonate in our country today, probably louder than ever when you look at Black Lives Matter and the Muslim bans and the military adventurism and the right-leaning government in Washington. Would the Muhammad Ali of 1966 have trouble in 2017? Ali was Colin Kapernick expanded by a multiple of ten. Did Colin Kapernick have trouble?” ERNEST HEMINGWAY by Mary V. Dearborn (Knopf, 5/16) 9780307594679Victoria Wilson, VP & Editor, Alfred A. Knopf: “Mary Dearborn’s life of Hemingway goes beyond the standard-brands portrait of the macho, hyper-charismatic figure whose celebrated exploits and adventures became associated with his lean true prose. She draws on newly available materials, among them, the so-called ‘Cuban accession’—the vast collection of papers Hemingway left behind when he fled Cuba in 1961; his complete FBI file; the newly opened files of the KGB; the letters and papers of his sister, and his mistress, as well as the previously ignored and voluminous wealth of papers of his mother, Grace Hemingway, opera singer and painter whose revealing and startling life of shattered rules and convention, and whose insistence on her own artistic expression—against all odds—give us a nuanced and illuminating, rich portrait of Hemingway, the man, and the writer. “In many aspects, Hemingway’s is the quintessential twentieth-century American story . . . a cautionary tale of how things look from the outside, as compared to the life being lived from within; a story of the accumulation of vast amounts of money and fame, adulation and legend and the withering away of discipline and talent and art . . . the story of Hemingway’s life has the feel about it of a Citizen Kane . . . a large story, a giant of a personality, the hidden demons, the hardcore values left behind; and the ‘rosebud’ of it all—the carefree Hemingway childhood that carried him along until ‘everything went to hell,’ as Hemingway said, and it all blew up . . .” OTIS REDDING: An Unfinished Life by Jonathan Gould (Crown Archetype, 5/16) 9780307453945Crown Senior Editor Matthew Inman: “While Otis Redding made music that has long served as the gold standard of 1960s soul, an aura of myth and mystery has always surrounded his life, which was tragically cut short at the height of his career by a plane crash in December 1967. Nearly a decade in the making, Jonathan Gould’s OTIS REDDING: An Unfinished Life draws on exhaustive research, the cooperation of the Redding family, and previously unavailable sources to finally present the first complete portrait of the King of Soul.  Published to coincide with 50th anniversary of Otis Redding’s legendary performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, this definitive biography is both a revealing look at a brilliant artist lost too soon and a provocative exploration of the tangled history of race and music in America.” THERE’S A MYSTERY THERE: The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak by Jonathan Cott (Doubleday, 5/16) 9780385540438Gerry Howard, VP & Executive Editor, Doubleday: “Polymath and master interviewer Jonathan Cott first interviewed Maurice Sendak in 1976 for Rolling Stone, just at the time when Outside Over There, the concluding and by far the strangest volume of a trilogy that began with Where The Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen, was gestating. Over the course of their wide-ranging and revelatory conversation about his life, work, and the fantasies and obsessions that drove his creative process, they focused on many of the themes and images that would appear in the new book five years later. Drawing on that interview, THERE’S A MYSTERY THERE is a profound examination of the inner workings of a complicated genius’s torments and inspirations that ranges over the entirety of his work and his formative life experiences, and uses Outside Over There, brilliantly and originally, as the key to understanding just what made this extravagantly talented man tick.

Denis Leary’s New Book to Tell Us Why We Don’t Suck

crown archetypeCrown Archetype has announced that it will publish a new book by one of America’s most original and biting comic satirists Denis Leary. In WHY WE DON’T SUCK: And How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches, Leary will target liberals and conservatives alike with his incisive and sharp humor and signature doses of sarcasm and common sense.

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Scheduled for a November 7 publicationthe book will be released simultaneously in the United States and Canada in print and digital formats. Molly Stern, Senior Vice President and Publisher, Crown Archetype, acquired North American, electronic book, and first-serial rights from Eric Simonoff at William Morris Endeavor. Crown Archetype Vice President and Editorial Director Tricia Boczkowski will edit the book. Denis Leary Final Cover copyLeary’s first book, Why We Suck, published in 2008,  was a bestseller and has over 400,000 copies in print. Now, in his new book, Leary turns his power of observation and sardonic wit to the current state of America. WHY WE DON’T SUCK refutes the current highly partisan Right Wing Nut Job versus Left Wing Snowflake approach to American politics that leaves no gray areas in between. Leading a new protest movement called Gray Lives Matter, WHY WE DON’T SUCK takes equal-opportunity aim at the screaming heads we see arguing every night on CNN (the Clinton News Network) and Fox’s Fair and Balanced Republican Report. With a devoted mission to Make America Laugh Again, Leary tackles the topics we all hold close to our American hearts: Twitter, Instagram, and the seemingly endless search for fame and diet vodka. Said Mr. Leary, “If this election proves anything, it’s that even I could be president one day. Look at Trump’s track record: angry tweets, canceled TV show, thin skin, and an attractive wife. According to that formula, I’m one bad comb-over away from living in the White House.” Said Ms. Stern, “Denis Leary is, as ever, unafraid to take on hypocrites and call it like he sees it. In a hilarious and brilliant book that pierces the bloviators on every page, WHY WE DON’T SUCK is also an eye-opening reminder that no matter where you place yourself on the political axis, we all share responsibility for the current state of our deadlocked, broken system. Denis Leary makes me want to suck less.”

MLB 2017 Opening Day Special: Our New Baseball Books

baseballThe 2017 Major League Baseball season begins on Sunday, April 2. To help baseball fans get revved up for the coming season, several Penguin Random House imprints have added to the large canon of baseball lit by publishing an impressive array of titles that range from two books on the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs to the definitive biography of

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legendary Casey Stengel to the memoir by All-Star Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones to St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny’s “Manifesto.” Batter up! 9780804190015THE CUBS WAY: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse by Tom Verducci (Crown Archetype, 3/28) It took 108 years, but it really happened. The Chicago Cubs are once again World Series champions.  How did a team composed of unknown, young players and supposedly washed-up veterans come together to break the Curse of the Billy Goat?  With inside access and reporting, Sports Illustrated senior baseball writer and FOX Sports analyst Tom Verducci reveals how Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon built, led, and inspired the Chicago Cubs team that broke the longest championship drought in sports, chronicling their epic journey to become World Series champions. THE CUBS WAY takes readers behind the scenes, chronicling how key players like Rizzo, Russell, Lester, and Arrieta were deftly brought into the organization by Epstein and coached by Maddon to outperform expectations. Together, Epstein and Maddon proved that clubhouse culture is as important as on-base-percentage, and that intangible components like personality, vibe, and positive energy are necessary for a team to perform to their fullest potential. Twice named National Sportswriter of the Year and co-writer of The Yankee Years with Joe Torre, Verducci, chronicles the Cubs’ playoff run that culminated in an instant classic Game Seven. He also takes a broader look at the history of baseball in Chicago and the almost supernatural element to the team’s repeated losses that kept fans suffering, but also served to strengthen their loyalty. 9780385540476CASEY STENGEL: Baseball’s Greatest Character by Marty Appel (Doubleday, 3/28) For more than five glorious decades, Charles Dillon “Casey” Stengel was the undisputed, quirky, hilarious, and beloved face of baseball – and along the way he revolutionized the role of manager while winning a spectacular ten pennants and seven World Series Championships.   As a player, Stengel’s contemporaries included Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, and Christy Mathewson . . . and he was the only person in history to wear the uniforms of all four New York teams: the Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, and Mets.  As a legendary manager, he formed indelible, complicated relationships with Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Billy Martin. But for a man who spent so much of his life in the limelight – an astounding fifty-five years in professional baseball — Stengel remains an enigma.  Acclaimed New York Yankees’ historian and bestselling author Marty Appel digs into Casey Stengel’s quirks and foibles, unearthing a tremendous trove of baseball stories, perspective, and history. Weaving in never-before-published family documents, Appel creates an intimate portrait of a private man who was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966 and named “Baseball’s Greatest Character” by MLB Network’s Prime 9. 9780553446722THE MATHENY MANIFESTO: A Young Manager’s Old School Views on Success in Sports and Life by Mike Matheny (Three Rivers Press, 3/28) Now in paperback, and featuring a new foreword by the author, St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny’s New York Times-bestselling manifesto addresses about what parents, coaches, and athletes get wrong about sports; what we can do better; and how sports can teach eight keys to success in sports and life. Matheny was just forty-one, without professional managerial experience and looking for a next step after a successful career as a Major League catcher, when he succeeded the legendary Tony La Russa as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012. While Matheny has enjoyed immediate success, leading the Cards to the postseason four times in his first four years  — a Major League record –  people have noticed something else about his life, something not measured in day-to-day results. Instead, it’s based on a frankly worded letter he wrote to the parents of a Little League team he coached, a cry for change that became an Internet sensation and eventually a “manifesto.” In THE MATHENY MANIFESTO, he builds on his original letter by first diagnosing the problem at the heart of youth sports – it starts with parents and coaches – and then by offering a hopeful path forward. Along the way, he uses stories from his small-town childhood as well as his career as a player, coach, and manager, to explore eight keys to success: leadership, confidence, teamwork, faith, class, character, toughness, and humility. 9781101984406BALLPLAYER by Chipper Jones (Dutton, 4/4) Before Chipper Jones became an eight-time All-Star who amassed Hall of Fame-worthy statistics during a nineteen-year career with the Atlanta Braves as the team’s third baseman and one of the greatest switch-hitters in baseball history, he was just a country kid from small town Pierson, Florida.  A kid who grew up playing baseball in the backyard with his dad dreaming that one day he’d be a major league ballplayer. With candor and astonishing recall, Jones tells the story of his rise to the MLB ranks and what it took to stay with one organization his entire career in an era of booming free agency. His journey begins with learning the art of switch-hitting and takes off after the Braves made him the number one overall pick in the 1990 draft, setting him on course to become the linchpin of their lineup at the height of their fourteen-straight division-title run. BALLPLAYER takes readers into the clubhouse of the Braves’ extraordinary dynasty, from the climax of the World Series championship in 1995 to the last-gasp division win by the 2005 “Baby Braves,” all the while sharing pitch-by-pitch dissections of clashes at the plate with some of the all-time great starters, such as Clemens and Johnson, as well as closers such as Wagner and Papelbon. He delves into his relationships with Bobby Cox and his famous Braves brothers—Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, among them—and opponents from Cal Ripken Jr. to Barry Bonds. The National League MVP also opens up about his overnight rise to superstardom and the personal pitfalls that came with fame; his spirited rivalry with the New York Mets; his reflections on baseball in the modern era—outrageous money, steroids, and all—and his special last season in 2012. 9780735218031MY CUBS: A Love Story by Scott Simon (Blue Rider Press, 4/11) This is Scott Simon’s personal, heartfelt reflections on his beloved Chicago Cubs, replete with club lore, memorable anecdotes, frenetic fandom, and wise, adoring intimacy that have made the world champion Cubbies baseball’s most tortured—and now triumphant—franchise. No metaphor is necessary; the Chicago Cubs have been the living example of disappointment and failure for more than a century—until now. The Cubs’ 2016 World Series win marked the end of a 108-year drought in the team’s history, and Game 7 will forever be remembered as one of the most thrilling, monumental moments in sports history. For Simon, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday and a lifelong Cubs fan, it was a moment he never thought he’d live to see. MY CUBS chronicles Simon’s adolescence in Chicago as a die-hard fan to tell the story of the relationship between the team and the neighborhood and city, and how the condition of “Cubness” has both charmed and haunted the lives of so many fans. From theories and curses to jinxes and myths, Simon chronicles how a team of “loveable losers” inspired such fervor and dedication from their fans, and how their 2016 win transcended sports to become an underdog narrative for the whole nation.

Krysten Ritter to Write Debut Novel for Crown Archetype

crown archetypeCrown Archetype, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, has announced that it will publish BONFIRE, a debut psychological suspense novel by actress, producer, and writer Krysten Ritter, best known for her starring roles in the award-winning Netflix original series Marvel’s Jessica Jones and cult favorite Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, as well as her critically acclaimed role on AMC’s Breaking Bad. 

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The announcement was made by Crown Archetype Vice President and Editorial Director Tricia Boczkowski. The book will be released simultaneously in the United States and Canada in print and digital formats on November 7, 2017. Crown Archetype Executive Editor Jennifer Schuster acquired North American, electronic book, audio, and first-serial rights from Stephen Barbara at InkWell Management on behalf of Paper Lantern Lit, and will edit the book. Said Ms. Boczkowski, “While many know Krysten Ritter for her acting, the publication of BONFIRE will showcase her prowess as a contemporary storyteller. In this terrific first novel, Ritter has crafted a smart and fast-paced read that includes all the hallmarks of great thriller writing: tension, suspense, and a strong female protagonist. We’re thrilled to be publishing her debut novel.” [caption id="attachment_5150" align="alignright" width="246"]Krysten Ritter.  Photo by Bailey Taylor Krysten Ritter. Photo by Bailey Taylor[/caption] Said Ms. Ritter, “As a huge fan of psychological suspense novels, I was so thrilled to take on the challenge of writing my first book. This was an exciting opportunity for me to explore a character journey and really get inside the head of my protagonist, a process that has a lot in common with how I prepare to play a role.” Informed by real-life instances of local conspiracy, BONFIRE is a multilayer psychological thriller about a woman forced to confront her past in the wake of small-town corruption. Twenty-eight-year-old Abby Williams returns to her small hometown after a ten-year absence as an environmental lawyer sent to investigate Optimal Plastics, the town’s largest company and economic heart, accused of illegal dumping of toxic chemicals in local water. Abby’s findings lead her to revisit the town’s biggest scandal—the disappearance of a girl who had been one of Abby’s prime torturers in high school. As Abby tries to find out what really happened all those years ago, she unearths an even more disturbing secret, the scope of which is far bigger and more twisted than she could have imagined. With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, BONFIRE is a dark exploration of the question, can you ever outrun your past? Growing up on a small-town farm in rural Pennsylvania, Ms. Ritter started her career in front of the camera as a model at fifteen years old. Her body of work has subsequently spanned film, television, theater, writing, producing, music, and fashion design. Ritter’s work in film includes Big Eyes, Listen Up Philip, Life Happens, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and She’s Out of My League. She is the founder of Silent Machine, a production company that aims to highlight complex female protagonists. BONFIRE is her first book.