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The devil publishes books

Posted by David Mehegan  January 29, 2007 11:46 AM

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Judith Regan

It sounds like just the sort of book Judith Regan would publish -- if it were not apparently about her. Former ReganBooks editor Bridie Clark's new novel, "Because She Can," is about Vivian Grant, a famously aggressive New York editor/publisher, described in publicity material as "the most hotheaded, ruthless woman in the industry" who specializes in "tabloid-inspired blockbusters," has an affair with a married New York City official, and treats her staff like trash. Publication is scheduled for Feb. 5.

We must try not to be cynical, even when others are. Coincidences happen in literature all the time, don't they? Even so, to quash the cynics, we expect that Warner won't forget the line in the front matter insisting that any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

A Warner Books spokeswoman denied to Publishers Weekly online that Grant is a thinly disguised version of Regan, saying that Clark worked for several publishers and that the book is "a combined collection of all her experiences." Who was it who said, "It's all material"?

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