Just off press!
Inside Llewyn Davis: The Illustrated Screenplay with Lyrics
Joel and Ethan Coen
Introduction by Elijah Wald and a Conversation with T Bone Burnett
(Click the book cover to view press release)
Barney Rosset Inspiration for Opus List
Glenn Young, OPUS Publisher and Founder, named old friends Barney Rosset, John Calder, Dick Seaver, and Lyle Stuart as inspirations for his new enterprise.
“I want OPUS to be a home that welcomes work the corporate clubhouse cannot sanction without its legal department redacting the heart out of it,” explains Young. “These were fearless guys. They knew the heart of publishing is in taking the writer’s risk and storming the ramparts for the cause. They were each themselves literary engines of our time. Not simply to keep replacing worn out cultural track, but laying new track in challenging terrain. They were not just spreading ink on a page. There’s gunpowder and adrenaline and bile in the dark fuel on their pages.”
One of Opus’s new titles, the disturbingly erotic THE PATIENT ECSTASY OF FRAULEIN BRAUN, was a cause Rosset advocated until the end of his life. “Mueller’s book is the reason you start a publishing house. She lights a fuse for a new generation of debate on old settled questions. You don’t abandon the field because it’s explosive; you collect kindling to build the heat. I would have signed her novel at Grove in a heartbeat.”
The Opus Way
In forecasting his new company’s plans, Young said: “A business plan for a new publishing venture is tough to justify as a work of nonfiction. Few works of fiction require as much imagination as the standard P & L. But for a new imprint, lacking even a month’s sales figures, it’s magical realism at best. Fine to distract the accountants, but a Ouija board and a set of intelligent instincts tells a publisher more. I long ago scrapped my profit-and-loss spreadsheets in favor of another form of reckoning. For decades now, each time I sign up a new author, I say a prayer. And it is this: ‘Oh, Lord, let it break even!’ And that simple un-MBA, contra-corporate non–derivative-backed entreaty remains my mantra as we open the doors to OPUS. ‘Let us recover what we have sowed to make the next season—the next harvest—possible—and possibly richer and more fertile than the last!’”
Kay Radtke Key to Opus Development
“My very first publishing decision was by far my easiest,” says Young. “If this operation is to thrive, it will be due to the leading role OPUS Executive VP Kay Radtke has played vigorously from the start. Simply put, Radtke is one of the best repositories of publishing wisdom in the industry.”
The Opus Team Young and Radtke are joined by Greg Collins for his wise editorial expertise and Sue Knopf as their longtime production and design guru. Pat Gold, Director for Special Projects, contributes her analysis about new opportunities in media and the arts.
“Am I allowed to say, in this release,” Young asked Radtke, a past president of the Publishers Publicity Association, “one of the chief joys of this venture is that everybody around me is a valued friend? Or isn’t that businesslike enough?” “Well,” Radtke opined, “it might be acceptable if it came right at the end.”