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Van Vechten--Carl Van Vechten and Fanis Marinoff, his wife. And
while all the other publishers were besieging Madden with offers,
I signed up Gene O'Neill personally down in Sea Island, Georgia.
We shook hands and the whole deal was made.
You didn't consult his agent?
Not at all. It didn't hurt Mr. Madden. Mr. Madden got
his commission, but O'Neill just told him that he was going
to come with me.
That was a real feather in your cap.
Yes. Madden was very surprised, because all the big
publishers wanted him. We were kid publishers still. We had
done well with the Modern Library and our press books, but we
had no new authors to speak of. We had done a book on architecture
and a few things like that--odds and ends--but nothing
Well, I came back to New York elated. We had O'Neill
in our pocket. With O'Neill, this gave me the leg up on
Robinson Jeffers, whom I had never met because he had never
been in the office, but luckily I was the one who had written
to him when we were getting his poetry together, so he knew about
me. I hustled out to California and signed him up. So we got
Liveright's two prize packages. Then a little later we signed
Sam Adams, a wonderful man who had been pretty famous in
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