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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029

Flaming Youth. That book swept the country. This was the first of a host of novels about the flappers and their free sex ways. Mr. Knopf disapproved.

Q:

Well, Sister Carrie was a bit of a...

Cerf:

Yes, but Horace didn't publish Sister Carrie. That had been brought out, I think, by Harper's years before. Horace had got hold of Dreiser when Dreiser was in a dry period. His books had a moderate sale, but they were not Sister Carrie. An American Tragedy came later--in 1926. That's another chapter. That played quite a part in my life, An American Tragedy, in one way and another.

Q:

I wonder if you could tell some story that would maybe describe Liveright. You gave a little bit of the story, but how did he go about publishing? The author would come in...

Cerf:

And Liveright would say, “We'll let you know tomorrow,” and he'd have one of us read it overnight. And we'd bring him a precis the next day.

Q:

He didn't do much reading himself?

Cerf:

No, he was too busy. He was out on the town entertaining authors. He believed in the personality approach. He was great at drinking in what you'd tell him about a book. He'd



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