Knopf

Featured Author Event: Nathan Englander in Washington, DC

Pulitzer Prize finalist and bestselling author Nathan Englander will be in Washington, DC on Thursday, October 19, to lead a discussion about his second novel, DINNER AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (Knopf), a political thriller that unfolds in the highly charged territory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and pivots on the complex relationship between a secret prisoner and his guard.  The event takes place at Politics & Prose Bookstore and begins at 7:00 pm.  

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Englander has woven a powerful, intensely suspenseful portrait of a nation riven by insoluble conflict, even as the lives of its citizens become fatefully and inextricably entwined–a political thriller of the highest order that interrogates the anguished, violent division between Israelis and Palestinians, and dramatizes the immense moral ambiguities haunting both sides. Who is right, who is wrong–who is the guard, who is truly the prisoner? Simply put by NPR, DINNER AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH is a “glorious…devastating…a beautiful masterpiece.” NTK Network also highlights, “The ability to see the world from both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives is what gives DINNER AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH its optimistic moral center. Both Israelis and Palestinians are faithful to the righteousness of their own cause, but at times, characters can see a way past this most charged of conflicts to a future of peace… Yet while the novel is optimistic, it is also realistic. The violence, and the historical memory of past violence, keeps both sides addicted to carrying out further attacks in the name of retribution. Englander’s ability to capture the almost pathological nature to ‘get even’ shines.” Nathan Englander’s first novel was The Ministry of Special Cases, and he is also the author of the story collections For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank—winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His short fiction has been widely anthologized, most recently in 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories. Englander’s play, The Twenty-Seventh Man, premiered at the Public Theatre in 2012. He translated the New American Haggadah and co-translated Etgar Keret’s Suddenly a Knock on the Door. He is additionally a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at New York University.

Read Our Books Starring in New Fall TV, Streaming Series and Films

This year’s fall television and streaming season is upon us, with a number of new shows, series and films based on books published by Penguin Random House imprints, as well as two new books of ours based on the programming itself. The following viewers and readers guide shines the spotlight on this diverse selection:

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“THE VIETNAM WAR” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWFzaUlZz-k&feature=youtu.be Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s ten-part, 18-hour PBS-TV documentary series, THE VIETNAM WAR, tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been fully presented on film. THE VIETNAM WAR: An Intimate History by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns is the expansive, richly illustrated Knopf book based on the series. Ten years in the making, the series includes rarely seen and digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th Century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. The book, which serves as a companion to the series, plunges us into the chaos and intensity of combat, even as it explains the rationale that got us into Vietnam and kept us there for so many years. Rather than taking sides, the book and series seek to understand why the war happened the way it did, and to clarify its complicated legacy. Airing throughout September on PBS television stations, the series is also streaming on PBS apps.   “OUTLANDER” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1YrLG2ddQs&feature=youtu.be The third season of the highly-rated Starz adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s multi-million-bestselling Outlander series focuses primarily on the third book in the series, VOYAGER (Dell), continuing the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser. Two decades before, Claire had traveled back in time and into the arms of Jamie, a gallant eighteenth-century Scot. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her. When Claire discovers that Jamie has survived, she is torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era. The third season premiered on Starz September 10, with new episodes airing weekly into the fall.   “OUR SOULS AT NIGHT” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lci71HjGvaM&feature=youtu.be The Netflix adaptation of Ken Haruf’s novel, OUR SOULS AT NIGHT (Knopf/Vintage), reunites Oscar-winners Robert Redford and Jane Fonda for the fourth time. Addie (Fonda) and Louis (Redford), long-widowed, empty nesters, come to know each other better and discover a second chance at love in the small community of Holt, Colorado. The film, which has received positive reviews, is also enjoying a concurrent brief run in select theaters. Premieres on Netflix, September 29   “LORE” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPnuT2TLvLQ&feature=youtu.be Aaron Mahnke’s THE WORLD OF LORE: Monstrous Creatures (Del Rey) is the basis for a new Amazon horror anthology. Spread across six episodes, the series explores the disturbing history behind a number of horror-tinged myths. In his book, Mahnke, the host of the hit podcast Lore, serves as a guide on a fascinating journey through the history of terrifying creatures. In a world of “emotional vampires” and “zombie malls,” the monsters of folklore have become both a part of our language and a part of our collective psyche. Of note, Mahnke invites readers to the desolate Pine Barrens of New Jersey, where the notorious winged, red-eyed Jersey Devil dwells. Premieres on Amazon Prime, October 13   “JOAN DIDION: The Center Will Not Hold” joandidion Across more than fifty years of essays, novels, and criticism, Joan Didion has chronicled the changing tides of American culture and politics – often in deeply personal ways. This upcoming documentary, JOAN DIDION: The Center Will Not Hold, directed by Didion’s nephew Griffin Dunne, is primarily based on SOUTH AND WEST: From a Notebook (Knopf), in which Didion presents excerpts from two notebooks. In one, she traces a road trip she took with her late husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners, a deserted reptile farm, a visit with Walker Percy, a ladies' brunch at the Mississippi Broadcasters' Convention. A different notebook, the "California Notes," began as an assignment from Rolling Stone on the Patty Hearst trial of 1976. Though Didion never wrote the piece, watching the trial and being in San Francisco triggered thoughts about the city, its social hierarchy, the Hearsts, and her own upbringing in Sacramento. Dunne’s documentary, which debuts next month as part of the New York Film Festival, intersperses archival footage alongside his interviews with his Aunt Joan, delving into her extraordinary body of work and its impact on our cultural landscape. Of note: footage of Didion partying with Janis Joplin in a house full of L.A. rockers in the ‘60s; hanging out in a recording studio with Jim Morrison of The Doors; and cooking dinner for one of Charles Manson’s followers for a magazine story. Debuts at The New York Film Festival, with screenings on October 11, 12 and 14; and then premieres on Netflix, October 27   “ALIAS GRACE” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-fofQ9VpPQ&feature=youtu.be On the heels of the success of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwoods novel of the same name and winner of six Emmy Awards, our author’s work is a hot property in Hollywood. Expectations are high for Alias Grace, an adaptation Atwood’s ALIAS GRACE: A Novel (Anchor). In the book, it is 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders. An up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Produced by Netflix and Canada’s CBC, the six-part series will tell the story of Marks and delves deeply into this twisty tale. Premieres on Netflix, November 3   “THE LONG ROAD HOME” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNP5PaKXlN8&feature=youtu.be Based on ABC News reporter and author Martha Raddatz’s searing nonfiction book, THE LONG ROAD HOME: A Story of War and Family (Berkley), this National Geographic series recounts, across eight episodes, the harrowing story of The First Cavalry Division, which suffered a surprise attack on the streets of Sadr City, a district of Baghdad, on April 4, 2004. The series, like the book, will chronicle the events of the attack through the eyes of the soldiers who lived it. Premieres on the National Geographic Channel, November 7   “THE CROWN” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k15O_eBfUuk&feature=youtu.be Season two of Netflix’s critically acclaimed and Emmy Award-winning series, The Crown, is expected to wade into darker territory. There will be more emphasis on the complexities of Elizabeth’s (Claire Foy) marriage to Prince Philip (Matt Smith) while also delving into Philip’s backstory – one that is both extraordinary and tragic. THE CROWN: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen (1947-1955) (Crown Archetype) was written by the show’s historical consultant and royal biographer, Robert Lacey. The book is filled with beautifully reproduced archival photos and show stills, adding expert and in-depth detail to the events of the series, painting an intimate portrait of life inside Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. A wonderful holiday gift for THE CROWN fan in your life. Premieres on Netflix, December 8

4 PRH Fiction Authors are NBF 2017 “5 Under 35” Honorees

We are delighted with The National Book Foundation’s announcement of this year’s “5 Under 35” honorees, their annual selection of debut fiction writers under the age of 35 whose work “promises to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape.”  Penguin Random House imprints publish four of the all-women group of honoree authors: 

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Lesley Nneka Arimah,   WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY: Stories (Riverhead Books) Zinzi Clemmons,   WHAT WE LOSE  (Viking) Leopoldine Core,   WHEN WATCHED: Stories  (Penguin Press) Weike Wang,   CHEMISTRY (Knopf) Warm congratulations to our 5 Under 35 honorees, their editors and publishers. These authors will be celebrated at a ceremony in Manhattan on November 13, two days before this year’s National Book Awards dinner.  Each honoree will receive a $1,000 prize. They represent writers from around the world, under the age of 35, who have published their first and only book of fiction—either a short story collection or a novel—within the last five years.  Each author was selected by a National Book Award Winner, Finalist, or writer previously recognized by the 5 Under 35 program. Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, said, “For the last twelve years, the National Book Foundation has been committed to highlighting the exceptional talent of emerging writers and to amplifying new voices.  At a moment in which we are having the necessary conversations surrounding the underrepresentation of female voices, it’s a thrill to see this list of tremendous women chosen organically by our selectors.” For more information and a complete list of the 2017 5 Under 35 honorees, click here.

Bill Clinton and James Patterson to Collaborate on a New Novel

Alfred-A.-KnopfPresident Bill Clinton and bestselling author James Patterson are working together on a novel, THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING, which will be published jointly by Alfred A. Knopf and Little, Brown and Company in June 2018. The announcement was made today by Sonny Mehta, Chairman of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing

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Group, and Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette Book Group. Mehta and Pietsch acquired world rights to the book including Canada – but excluding the UK and Commonwealth where it will be published by Century. clintonTHE PRESIDENT IS MISSING will offer readers a unique amalgam of intrigue, suspense and behind-the-scenes global drama from the highest corridors of power. It will be informed by insider details that only a President can know. “Working on a book about a sitting President – drawing on what I know about the job, life in the White House, and the way Washington works – has been a lot of fun,” said Clinton. “And working with Jim has been terrific. I’ve been a fan of his for a very long time.” The publication will be the President’s first novel and the novelist’s first collaboration with a president. “Working with President Clinton has been the highlight of my career, and having access to his first-hand experience has uniquely informed the writing of this novel,” said Patterson. “I’m a story-teller, and President Clinton’s insight has allowed us to tell a really interesting one.  It’s a rare combination – readers will be drawn to the suspense, of course, but they’ll also be given an inside look into what it’s like to be President.” THE PRESIDENT IS MISSING will be published simultaneously in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook, with the logos of both Little, Brown and Knopf displayed on all editions. At the time of publication, Clinton and Patterson and will embark on a national book tour. “This is a blockbuster collaboration between two bestselling authors,” said Mehta and Pietsch in a joint statement, “and the pages we’ve read to date are riveting, full of intricate plotting and detail. This is a book that promises to entertain and delight millions of readers around the world, and we are thrilled to be working on it together and with our esteemed houses supporting us.”

Igloo Reads: Stephanie Danler’s Debut Novel SWEETBITTER

Sweetbitter

These are the words that open Stephanie Danler’s extraordinary debut novel, SWEETBITTER, which will be published by Alfred A. Knopf on May 24, introducing readers to Tess, the book’s twenty-two-year-old narrator:  “You will develop a palate. A palate is a spot on your tongue where you remember. Where you assign words to the textures of taste. Eating becomes a discipline, language-obsessed. You will never simply eat food again.” 

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A lush novel of the senses—of taste and hunger, seeing and understanding, love and desire— SWEETBITTER is ultimately about the power of what remains after disillusionment, and the transformation and wisdom that come from our experiences, sweet and bitter.  Advance praise has ignited waves of pre-publication buzz.  A sampling: "Stephanie Danler arrives on the literary scene with a fully-fledged, original voice that’s wry, watchful and wise beyond its years – acutely attuned to the pleasures of the senses and to the desperate stratagems of self-invention among young urban seekers.  Sweetbitter is a stunning debut novel, one that seems destined to help define a generation.” —Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and Bright, Precious Days, to be published by Knopf in August. "... rich in sensory descriptions, the kind of book that one doesn’t just read but devours.”Time Out “Stephanie Danler’s prose—like the New York life her young heroine longs for—intoxicates the senses. A charming, harrowing debut.” —Jonathan Dee, author of The Privileges and A Thousand Pardons “A book that’ll stay glued to your hands as you race through the pages in one sitting.”Elle  Peter Gethers, President, Random House Studios, and Senior Vice President, Editor at Large, was an early reader of the SWEETBITTER manuscript, and told The New York Times, “Within 10 pages, I was going, oh my God, this woman is an extraordinary talent. One doesn’t see a lot of first novels like this, or any novels like this … The way she writes about food, you can actually taste it.”  Mr. Gethers recommended the manuscript to Claudia Herr, Executive Story Editor, Random House Films, and Editor at Large, who acquired SWEETBITTER in a two-book-deal for Knopf in the fall of 2014. Ms. Danler, who holds an MFA in creative writing from the New School, comments, “When I’m chatting with people, and I mention that I wrote a book, they nod politely. Every time I tell them it’s coming out with Knopf, their eyes widen and they say, ‘Oh.’ First recognition, then interest and excitement. It’s a ridiculous thing, to call yourself a Knopf author, to look at the company you’re in, to know that the Borzoi will go on the spine of your book, making it instantly recognizable to those that love literature. Absolutely ridiculous. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.” SWEETBITTER and Ms. Danler have attracted an impressive range of media, including pieces in TimeOutThe Wall Street Journal and the current issue of Vogue,  a book excerpt in the May edition of Bon Appetit Magazine, with coverage in TIME, Vanity FairThe New York Times Book Review, O Magazine, Marie Claire, People, Entertainment Weekly, DuJour, Parade, W, Nylon, Bustle, Brooklyn Magazine, and much more to come.