Sunday, August 21, 2011

David Davidar surges in India

Former Penguin Canada president David Davidar left Canada under a particularly dark cloud early this year. But somewhere over the Atlantic, that cloud dissipated, and he landed here to an open-armed welcome. He has resumed his place at the top of the flourishing Indian literary world, and that nasty allegation of sexual harassment in the (other) colonies is yesterday’s news.

Two months ago, Davidar, 52, announced he was launching a new publishing house, Aleph Book Co., focusing on literary books, both fiction and non-fiction. The Indian industry, centred here in Delhi, has been watching eagerly: It is a current favourite preoccupation in book circles to speculate on which authors and which executives will defect to Aleph.

His new house will publish 15 or 20 books by the end of next year, Davidar says, although he won’t name any of the authors of those planned books, saying he is saving that for a “spectacular announcement” in December. “There will be people Canadians will recognize,” he says. “There will be big-name novelists, and the next generation of novelists who will set the world alight.”

But he acknowledges he has yet to sign contracts with any authors, and while he has hired a number of high-profile staff, he says, none of the appointments has been announced.

Full report here The Globe and Mail

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