I don't usually venture into literary gossip, but this gem from a friend who works in the book industry in New York is interesting and worth exploring. He told me that David Wallace-Wells, who wrote ''went-viral'' the Doomsday Downer article for New York Magazine has got a book offer for a 6-figure advance with tentative pub date set for 2019 (literary gossip).
Of course, with over 3.5 million clicks on the original NY Mag article and dozens of reaction pieces, David immediately got a call from his agent, my industry pal from my college days told me, who said "David, this is a book!"
That's what my pal on Publishers Row in Manhattan is telling me by email.
He told me:
"Yeah, this is big," he said. "Of course, with such a huge response worldwide in over 14 languages over the original article, David's agent got in touch with a major house and the deal is set. The book will come out in 2019, with translations in 12 languages worldwide, and with a major national book tour for David when the book comes out with interviers and articles planted/placed by his marketing and PR people in such pubs as The New Yorker, where his brother Ben works as a writer, The Guardian, the New York Times, the BBC, AP, Reuters, Salon, Slate, you name it. This book will take the huge response the article got and turn into a bestseller of classic proportions and move over, Bill McKibben, the new climate diviner has arrived and his name is David! Really, the deal is for like US$500,000 as an advance, payable in thirds, as you know, 1/3 on signing, one third on handing in the book, and 1/3 on pub date. So David has a lot of work to do between now and then and the title of the book, while still up in the air, will likely mirror the NY Mag headline. This is the buzz I am hearing here, and I think the book will be good, useful and important. And like the NY Mag article, the book itself will engender another round of climate media frenzy, pro and con, and book reviews will be all over the place, pro and con, and the climate movement will have a new hero. His name is David Wallace-Wells, the hyphenated man!"
Well, take what my pal says here with a grain of salt, because one never knows what happens in the book industry. But certainly, any agent worth her or his salt would be on this book right now, and that's why the word leaked out. Two more years before pub date, maybe summer 2019 my source says. But get ready.
The title will likely be THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH, with a new subtitle mirroring the brouhaha that the article gendered in the summer of 2017. ''On va voir,'' as the French say, we shall see.
Meanwhile, I am looking forward to this, and congratulations, David. This is good for the climate change activists movement and the book will also be good for furthering the rise of cli-fi novels and movies. So bravo, Mr Wallace-Wells.