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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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a very small public for them. But you never know when some of these playwrights are going to say, “I think that I'm going to write a book next!" That happened with Moss Hart with Act I. It happened with Mr. Sam Behrman, with his biography of Joseph Levine, the art dealer. His book, called Levine, was picked up by the Book-of-the-Month Club. He followed it up with a story of his own life called Worcester Account, which also was a Book-of-the-Month. Then he wrote a book about Max Beerbohm called Max, another bull's eye. These books all came to Random House because we had published his plays. So it works out.


Now it's time for the John O'Hara saga. How did you get him? It was in 1949, I believe.


John O'Hara I had met at parties. We had a lot of mutual friends--Harold Ross and Woolcott Gibbs and the whole New Yorker staff. He had a fight with his publisher. I don't remember just what it was about. He made it clear that he sould come to Random House if we made the proper deal with him. That was a red-letter day in my life...when I signed John O'Hara.

He hadn't written anything for years. A lot of people thought that he was through. He was very angry about this, but he just hadn't written a new book for years. He had been out in Hollywood, but he was restless there. He was making a great deal of money but he's a writer and he wanted to get back to serious writing.

We went to celebrate in a place called The Tavern, which

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