Andrew Wylie Doesn't Care Who Your Agent Used to Be
Today Lloyd Grove turns his gimlet eye to Andrew Wylie, the successful and competitive literary agent who is known in many circles as "The Jackal" (we always suspect that people with nicknames like that made them up for themselves — that's why nobody famous is nicknamed something like "The Armadillo" or "Eeyore"). In his latest "The World According To " column at Portfolio.com, Lloyd grills Wylie over his ruthless client stealing, heartless friendship shattering, and personal history with dirty poetry. Wylie admits he has "a puppy crush on Amazon" but that he thinks their new Kindle e-book reader ("which I gather weighs 140 pounds") will be a dud. Below, we've snipped out some of the choicest moments from the 140-pound interview. In them, you'll read how Lloyd learns to his chagrin that everything you've ever heard about Andrew Wylie is true. • On ruthlessness: "If we want to represent someone, the fact that they are represented by someone else is not an impediment as far as I'm concerned. Sometimes it's an impediment as far as the writer is concerned, but frequently it isn't. And if — as was the case with Martin Amis [whose account Wylie took from the wife of Amis's best friend] — his representation had overlooked a critical flaw in the structure of his business, if that had not happened, we would not be representing him." • On Philip Roth's being caught at a 1969 party with a hundred-dollar bill sticking out of his fly: "That's where he kept his wallet!"