Seventies party boy turned all-powerful literary agent Andrew Wylie is perhaps the most despised and admired player in international book publishing. On Monday, Torontonians will have an opportunity to take his measure when he gives a free keynote speech as part of the this year’s International Festival of Authors. Known by insiders as “the jackal,” Wylie’s reputation for ruthlessly poaching clients is nearly as famous as the six-figure deals he negotiates for his lucrative list of authors, who famously include Martin Amis, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, Diane von Furstenberg, Al Gore and Bob Dylan. (Even his deceased clients are impressive: Wylie manages literary estates for Hunter S. Thompson, Allen Ginsberg, Vladimir Nabokov, Susan Sontag and old pals Lou Reed and Andy Warhol.) An outspoken critic of mass-market fiction, his open disdain for Amazon’s “megalomaniac” business strategy and the “Walmartizing” of bookselling makes this talk an event not to miss. Follwing Wylie’s keynote, he’ll sit for a short interview with CBC’s Carol Off.
Mon. Oct. 27, FREE. Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, ifoa.org