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How had you known him?
I had met him around. He was a very difficult man
in those days. He was a habitual drunkard. In fact I put
him to bed one night. I met him at a party and he passed
out cold and I helped somebody put him to bed--a very
unpleasant job but...
Somebody had to do it.
...somebody had to do it.
But anyway, when he came with us, the first book
that we published of Red's was Gideon Planish, which was
not too good a book. I must say that Lewis‘great books
were behind him already--Arrowsmith, Babbitt, Main Street,
and Dodsworth--were behind him. He was still, probably at
that time, the biggest selling author in the country.
Gideon Planish came out and did very well but wasn't one of
his memorable books. It was about a professional fund raiser.
This was the first time that I discovered some of the
quirks of Sinclair Lewis. Sterling North was at that time
the literary editor of The New York Post. He knocked the
hell out of Gideon Planish. I was down in Florida with
Phyllis for a vacation, and I had a telephone call from Red
Lewis in New York saying, “I want you to have Sterling North
fired right away.” This was his reaction to the review. I
said, “What are you talking about? How can I get....” He
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