Herman Wouk to publish new book with Simon & Schuster
Herman Wouk, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Caine Mutiny," will publish a new novel, "The Lawgiver," with Simon & Schuster, the publisher announced Monday. Wouk, who was given the Library of Congress' first Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Writing of Fiction in 2008, will celebrate his 97th birthday in May.
Wouk's long and successful publishing record also includes "Marjorie Morningstar," "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance." His most recent book, "The Language God Talks: On Science and Religion," published in 2010, discussed science and faith. In a release, Simon & Schuster described the upcoming "The Lawgiver":
Mr. Wouk's new book is an epistolary novel about a group of people making a movie about Moses in the present day. The story emerges from letters, memos, emails, journals, news articles, recorded talk, tweets, Skype transcripts, and text messages. "I loved reading The Lawgiver," said [Simon & Schuster Publisher Jonathan] Karp. "Within just a few pages I was captivated, once again in the thrall of Wouk's sharply conceived characters, amusing narration, irresistible command of story, and the wisdom of a lifetime. I found myself marveling at the verve and wit of this great American storyteller, now 96. The insights into Moses have remarkable vitality and depth. His heroine, Margo (‘Mashie’) is a twenty-first century incarnation of one of my favorite literary characters of all time, Marjorie Morningstar."
Karp must have been impressed by the manuscript. When he reviewed Wouk's "An Ache in the Heart" for The Times in 1993, he found something missing. Wouk, he wrote, "is still a master of the historical novel, and -- at nearly 700 pages -- 'The Hope' is a surprisingly fast read. And yet, perhaps it is a bit too fast."
Perhaps Wouk sees that slightly negative review as being in the past -- or perhaps he's looking even further back. "I knew Dick Simon and Max Schuster well," he said in the release. Yes, he means, that Simon and that Schuster. "Few of my contemporaries can make that statement! They brought out my first novel, Aurora Dawn, in 1947, and returning to their imprint after 64 years is an uncommon pleasure."
Simon & Schuster will publish Wouk's "The Lawgiver" this fall.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Herman Wouk at his Palm Springs home in 2000. Credit: Douglas L. Benc Jr. / Associated Press