Penguin suing prominent writers

The publisher wants to claw back some advances

Published September 26, 2012 4:52PM (EDT)

      (Tatiana Morozova)
(Tatiana Morozova)

The Smoking Gun reports that New York publisher Penguin Group is suing a host of well-known authors, claiming that they "failed to deliver books for which they received hefty contractual advances." The list of authors includes "Prozac Nation" author Elizabeth Wurtzel, political blogger Ana Marie Cox, New Yorker staff writer Rebecca Mead, Rev. Conrad Tillard, and Herman Rosenblat. (Literary blogger Edward Champion seems to have found the full list.)

Robert Gottlieb, the chairman of Trident Media Group, condemned Penguin's action, saying:

“Penguin this is wrong headed. Authors beware. Books are rejected for reasons other than editorially and publishers then want their money back. Publishers want to reject manuscripts for any reason after an author has put time and effort into writing them all the while paying their bills. Another reason to have strong representation. If Penguin did this to one of Trident’s authors we could cut them out of all our submissions.”

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Books Literature Penguin Group Prozac Nation Publishing