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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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successes. A hard back publisher, on the other hand, may never get the book he's contracted for, or, when he does get it, may find that it's not what it was supposed to be or that the synopsis didn't work out. Sometimes when you get the book, it has no more resemblance to the synopsis that you've bought than the man in the moon.


We were talking about Hammett. Do you want to finish that?


I just mentioned because here is a man who couldn't afford it, who was so honorable that when he saw that he wasn't going to do the book that he insisted on repaying the advance, which I thought was really noble of him because it was unexpected. I had written this off and still hoped that someday he would do the book, but he knew that he never would. It was a very, very fine gesture.


Well, it's the integrity of the man that comes through.


Hammett was a man with integrity. That's what I'm trying to say. Authors are like other people: you'll find honest ones and you'll find crooks. There's no difference between authors and anybody else.

To get on with my own story, we published, because of my interest in the theater, books by the two great ladies of the American theater, Katherine Cornell and Helen Hayes.

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