Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Still selling at 30, A River Runs Through It is a university press title!

Did you know that Norman McLean's bestselling novella A River Runs Through It (part of the story collection of the same name) is published by the University of Chicago Press? I didn't until I saw a copy beautifully displayed in the office of a Chicago editor. McLean was an English professor at Chicago in the early 1930s, and he later earned a doctorate there. When Chicago published his book in 1976, it was the first work of fiction for that press, and it very nearly won the Pulitzer Prize (apparently there was some controversy over whether it was fictional enough). Most people have heard of it because of the 1992 movie directed by Robert Redford.

Chicago issued a special 25th-anniversary edition in 2001, and you can read about it here. Best of all for this charming story of a bestseller arising from the academy, author McLean published it -- his first book -- when he was 70 years old.

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