Part of the vanguard of young New York publishers who revolutionized the book business in the 1920s and ’30s, Cerf helped usher in publishing’s golden age. Cerf was a true personality, whose other pursuits (columnist, anthologist, author, lecturer, radio host, collector of jokes and anecdotes, perennial judge of the Miss America pageant, and panelist on What’s My Line?) helped shape his reputation as a man of boundless energy and enthusiasm and brought unprecedented attention to his company and to his authors. At once a rare behind-the-scenes account of book publishing and a fascinating portrait of four decades’ worth of legendary authors, from James Joyce and William Faulkner to Ralph Ellison and Eudora Welty, At Random is a feast for bibliophiles and anyone who’s ever wondered what goes on inside a publishing house.
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.13(w) x 8.01(h) x 0.69(d)|
About the Author
Christopher Cerf is an author, editor, and Emmy- and Grammy-winning songwriter and television producer. A longtime contributor to Sesame Street, and cofounder and creative producer of the PBS literacy-education series Between the Lines, Christopher Cerf is a former contributing editor of National Lampoon and a former senior editor at Random House.
Read an Excerpt
I am a rather unusual specimen in that not only I but all four of my grandparents and both of my parents were born on the island of Manhattan. My father’s family were of Alsatian extraction and my mother’s family were Germans named Wise. My father’s father, Marcel Cerf, was a jeweler. The Cerf family was loaded with charm but little money, while the Wise family had very little charm but a lot of money. My grandfather, Nathan Wise, owned a tobacco-distributing business called the Metropolitan Tobacco Company and in his very conservative way amassed a fortune of over a million dollars. The way that money was eventually divided was very important in the beginning of my career.
Excerpted from "At Random"
Copyright © 1977 Bennett Cerf.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
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