After Woody Allen and his memoir, Apropos of Nothing, were cast adrift by Hachette Publishing after an employee walkout and the loss of their author Ronan Farrow, the memoir has been acquired and will be published by Arcade Publishing, according to this announcement by Publisher’s Weekly (click on screenshot). In fact, the book was released today:
A bit of the PW report (I’ve left out the bit about accused sexual misconduct that I’ve discussed before):
After the acquisition of filmmaker Woody Allen’s memoir by Grand Central Publishing led to protests at the imprint as well as at parent company Hachette Book Group, the book has a new home. Arcade Publishing, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, announced that it has acquired world rights to the title, Apropos of Nothing, and has released it in the U.S. today.
Speaking to the title, Arcade, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, said it is “a candid and comprehensive personal account by Woody Allen of his life, ranging from his childhood in Brooklyn through his acclaimed career in film, theater, television, print and standup comedy, as well as exploring his relationships with family and friends.”
As part of that cancellation, Hachette reverted all rights over the book to Allen. That meant he was free to sell the book to any other publisher, and now he has. Apropos of Nothing has gone to Arcade Publishing, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing.
Unlike Hachette, Skyhorse is not one of the so-called “Big Five” houses that dominate US trade publishing. It’s a smaller independent house that has published plenty of legitimate authors, including Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, but also has a history of publishing conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination and vaccines. Skyhorse has also worked with Allen before: In 2011, he wrote the introduction to director Ingmar Bergman’s memoir, published through Skyhorse.
In a statement to the AP, Arcade editor Jeannette Seaver said: “In this strange time, when truth is too often dismissed as ‘fake news,’ we as publishers prefer to give voice to a respected artist, rather than bow to those determined to silence him.”
The AP appears to be the only outlet that has been able to see a copy of Allen’s memoir thus far. In the book, the AP reports, Allen continues to deny ever harming Dylan Farrow. He writes that he “never laid a finger on Dylan, never did anything to her that could be even misconstrued as abusing her; it was a total fabrication from start to finish.”
And there’s a bit more about the contents from (ugh) HuffPo, which is the only place I’ve found this (I didn’t look hard):
“Apropos of Nothing” begins in the wry tone of such literary heroes as J.D. Salinger and George S. Kaufman, describing his New York City upbringing and love affairs with Diane Keaton and others with a sense of nostalgia and angst that also mirrors Allen movies ranging from “Radio Days” and “The Purple Rose of Cairo” to “Annie Hall” and “Hannah and Her Sisters.” But it darkens and becomes defensive, not surprisingly, as he recalls his relationship with Mia Farrow and the allegations he abused daughter Dylan Farrow that for many have come to define his public image in recent years.
He was with Mia Farrow for more than a decade, and recalls happy times with the “very, very beautiful” actress that would cool over the years, especially after the 1987 birth of their one biological child, Ronan (named Satchel at birth). As he has alleged before, he and Farrow were essentially apart by the time he began dating her daughter Soon-Yi Previn, more than 30 years younger than him, in the early 1990s. “At the very early stages of our new relationship, when lust reigns supreme … we couldn’t keep our hands off each other,” he writes of Previn, whom he married in 1997 and to whom he dedicates the book.
Recalling the day Farrow learned of the affair, after discovering erotic photographs of her twenty-something daughter at Allen’s apartment, Allen writes: “Of course I understand her shock, her dismay, her rage, everything. It was the correct reaction.” But he also expresses no regret over he and Previn becoming lovers.
“Sometimes, when the going got rough and I was maligned everywhere, I was asked if I had known the outcome, do I ever wish I never took up with Soon-Yi?” he writes. “I always answered I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
I’ve found the Arcade version on Amazon, but only in the large-print edition (it costs $40). There’s an extract on the Amazon site as well.
As I’ve said several times before, Allen deserves to have his say, and Hachette acted badly by first acquiring the book, defending Allen against his critics, and then instantly caving in to social-media and mob pressure. It was, in effect, an act of censorship. At least it will be available now (I’m betting that some woke bookstores won’t carry it), and the market can vote, though I wouldn’t trust the Amazon reviews, which will be highly conditioned by whether people think Allen is innocent or guilty of sexual misconduct.