Some people look over at the smattering of books on the right side of the blog and see a few that were originally published before I was even in diapers. Then they wonder: how is this possible? Is Nathan trying to pull a fast one?
Nope — these are all authors I have represented. I just didn’t have the pleasure of meeting them when they were alive.
Many people think that representation stops when the author passes away. Not so! We here at Curtis Brown often work with the heirs of literary estates to try to make sure that the authors’ works continue to find new life via new editions and make sure every new opportunity is explored. So in addition to my living clients I also work on behalf of incredible authors of yesteryear like Gerald Durrell, Lawrence Durrell, Richard Powell and Winston Churchill. Also I just noticed that all of their names end with two Ls.
Managing these rights is just as challenging and rewarding as working with living authors, and I have to say, one of the great pleasures of being a literary agent is helping to ensure that great literature finds new readers. We also handle the mountain of permission requests that pour in for classic works.
I should also mention that I’m happy to receive queries from heirs and proprietors of literary estates — it’s often extremely daunting to manage these rights without an experienced advocate, and I might be able to help out.