Today in books and publishing: Leon Black purchases preeminent art book publisher; R.L. Stine writes Goosebumps for adults; Orange Prize saved; Anthony Burgess finally gets a blue plaque.
Phaidon has a new owner. When billionaire Leon Black isn't skiing down mountains of money, he dabbles in art collecting (word has it that he was the one who scooped up Munch's The Scream at auction earlier this year for $120 million). Now, the wealthy CEO of private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC just added another valuable piece to his collection: the distinctive, preeminent art book publishing house Phaidon Press. Phaidon is known for its elaborate and often highly expensive coffee table books, textbooks, cookbooks, and monographs. The publisher's roots go back to 1923 in Vienna, a home it had to flee under the Nazis. Now based in London, Phaidon has been owned by mysterious entrepreneur Richard Schlagman since 1990. Black said in a prepared statement, "My family and I look forward to supporting the future growth of the company, including through the ongoing development of its publishing program, further geographic expansion, and the launch of digital products." [The Wall Street Journal]
Private donors save the Orange Prize. Remember when everyone thought Apple might buy the Orange Prize after the cell phone carrier Orange ditched funding the award for female novelists writing in English? All of our fruity puns turned out too good to be true, because the tech giant didn't end up rescuing the prize. But now, private donors have stepped up to save the award for at least one more year. They raised the money needed for a £30,000 award and a ceremony on June 5, 2013. "It is the largest-selling book prize in the world and the only one that is entirely devoted to women," writes one of the award's saviors, Martha Lane Fox. "It is a celebration, not a moan. It is to inspire more reading among both genders and to show the fabulous breadth of talent out there." With Orange's departure, the prize will go back to its original title, the Women's Prize for Fiction. [The Telegraph]