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There's an amusing story that's connected with a
book that we published in 1938 called the Tides of Mont-
Saint-Michel by Roger Vercel, a Frenchman, a book having
something to do with Mont-Saint-Michel of course and the
great tides. It was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection.
None of us had ever met Roger Vercel, who never came to
this country as a matter of fact.
Do you remember how you got the book at all? Was it
just sent in?
Somebody did, I think, send it in. We thought that
it was going to be one of those minor publications where we
would get good reviews, period. Suddenly it was the Book-
of-the-Month Club. In those days they were more daring
than they are now. Today the Book-of-the-Month Club
principally publishes sure best-sellers, you know. Their
selections--you can almost tell in advance what they're
going to be. But then they were really looking for new things.
And literature too.
Yes. This was a very good book as a matter of fact.
None of us had met Vercel, of course. He had never
been here. We got a letter one day. Bob Haas, who spoke
French rather well, and read it very fluently, was the one
who had discovered this book. Maybe he had read it in
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