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said, “What happened?" He said, “Ask Rodgers,” and stamped
out. As soon as he was out of sight, I called Dick Rodgers.
Dick said, “He's a lunatic.” I said, “What happened?" He
said, “Well, he came in here and said that he wanted to name
his book after one of my songs. I said, ‘I'd be delighted,
John. What song?‘He said, “Small Hotel.” All I said was,
‘That's great, John, but, to be exact, the name of the song
is “There's a Small Hotel."'” O'Hara grabbed the manuscript
from Rodgers and said, “When I need you to name my books
I'll tell you,” and slammed out of the office. This is an
example of how childish John was and still can be. Nevertheless,
he's a wonderful man. These ridiculous little
childish outbursts of his are terribly funny if you get to
know him, but it's not very pleasant to be on the other end
In September, 1952, I noticed in our catalogue, we
announced a book called The Walnut Trees of Altenburg by
Andre Malraux. He never wrote it. But now we understand
that part of that book is going to be in a volume for which
Doubleday coughed up a $350,000 guarantee. We could stop
this if we wanted to because we still have a contract for
his next novel and a big part of it apparently will be in
this book. It may never be finished. Obviously we're not
going to interfere. Our contract was signed sixteen years
ago! This is what goes on in the publishing business.
Also in 1952, we did a book that had quite a history.
It's called Spindletop by Jim Clark and Mike Halbouty.
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