Del Rey Acquires Gentlemen

Del Rey, a subdivision of Random House Publishing Group, announced Tuesday that it had acquired the publishing rights to Michael Chabon’s serialized novel Gentlemen of the Road.

The novel, currently appearing in The New York Times Magazine’s Funny Pages, will hit stands in hardcover form Nov. 6. The price tag is $18.95.

“I’m tremendously excited to bring to Del Rey a writer whose previous work has brought so much enjoyment to fans of our genre,” said Del Rey Editor-in-Chief Betsy Mitchell in a statement. “This new story features all the exotic locales, adventure and intrigue a reader could want, told in a spellbinding voice.”

The hardcover edition will contain new material, as well as black and white illustrations by Gary Gianni. Mary Evans, who has long acted as Chabon’s agent, brokered the deal for the English publishing rights.

Touring ‘Blur’ for Ayelet

Ayelet Waldman gave a brief status update on her Web site this month, saying she’s been busy traveling.

“The last couple of months have been a blur of touring,” she says. “Snow. Bitter cold. And you can imagine the crowds. Actually, one night it was breath-takingly cold in Pittsburgh, but 1900 people came out to hear Michael and me talk at Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures. Three nights later, guess how many people came to hear just me in Old Greenwich, Connecticut? Two.”

Sitka Fair Poster Online

In case you haven’t noticed it yet, Michael Chabon has posted on his Web site a poster for the 1977 Sitka World’s Fair, held in the Federal District of Sitka, where his up-coming novel The Yiddish Policemen’s Union takes place.

The poster is from the collection of “Leon Chaim Bach.” The name is an anagram for “Michael Chabon.”

The fair, according to the poster, occurred from May to October 1977. In the novel, which hits stands May 1, Chabon describes the fair as a “pinnacle of Jewish civilization in the north.” The novel takes place 30 years later.

In the real world, Sitka is Alaska’s fourth largest city with nearly 9,000 people. In Chabon’s novel, the city sports a population of 3.2 million and is part of the alternate history’s Jewish homeland.

Yiddish Policemen on eBay

For those die-hards out there who can’t wait until May 1 to get a copy of The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, I just noticed that someone in San Francisco is selling an advanced reader’s copy of the novel on eBay.

The auction ends March 17, and the starting bid is $9.99. No one has bid.

And here’s an odd detail: “From a smoke-free environment.”