WASHINGTON:The Woody Allen memoir, dropped by its original publisher after widespread criticism, has found a new home.
The 400-page book, still called Apropos of Nothing, was released on Monday by Arcade Publishing.
“The book is a candid and comprehensive personal account by Woody Allen of his life,” Arcade announced, “ranging from his childhood in Brooklyn through his acclaimed career in film, theatre, television, print and standup comedy, as well as exploring his relationships with family and friends.”
With little advance notice, the 84-year-old film-maker’s book arrives at a time when much of the world is preoccupied with the coronavirus pandemic. Arcade is an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing and a Skyhorse spokeswoman said no decisions had been made on whether Allen would give interviews. Financial details for his deal with Arcade were not released and the spokeswoman had no immediate comment on whether the book would come out in Europe, where publishers in several countries have expressed interest.
Apropos of Nothing begins in the wry tone of such literary heroes as JD Salinger and George S Kaufman, describing Allen’s New York City upbringing and love affairs with Diane Keaton and others with a sense of nostalgia and angst that mirrors Allen movies ranging from Radio Days and The Purple Rose of Cairo to Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters. But it darkens and becomes defensive as he recalls his relationship with Mia Farrow and the allegations he abused daughter Dylan Farrow, which for many have come to define his public image in recent years.
Allen was with Farrow for more than a decade, and recalls happy times with the “very, very beautiful” actress that would cool over the years, especially after the 1987 birth of their biological child, Ronan (named Satchel at birth). As he has alleged before, he and Farrow were essentially apart by the time he began dating her daughter Soon-Yi Previn, who is more than 30 years younger than him, in the early 90s. “At the very early stages of our new relationship, when lust reigns supreme … we couldn’t keep our hands off each other,” he writes of Previn, whom he married in 1997 and to whom he dedicates the book.
In a postscript to the Arcade edition, Allen alleges that Hachette had vowed to publish Apropos of Nothing despite his “being a toxic pariah and menace to society”. But, he writes, “When actual flak did arrive they thoughtfully reassessed their position” and “dumped the book like it was a hunk of Xenon 135.” The Guardian has contacted Hachette for a response.
Arcade editor Jeannette Seaver said in a statement: “In this strange time, when truth is too often dismissed as ‘fake news,’ we as publishers prefer to give voice to a respected artist, rather than bow to those determined to silence him.”