Lit Hits the Fan as UK Publishing Feud Heats up

Spate of literary agent resignations has industry reeling
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2007 2:25 PM CDT
British writer Julian Barnes reads from his book "Arthur & George", in Zurich, Switzerland, Saturday, June 2, 2007. (AP Photo/KEYSTONE/Alessandro Della Bella)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The upper rungs of British publishing are reeling in disrepair, after a handful of high-end agents resigned over the last month. At the center of the storm is Pat Kavanagh, wife of Julian Barnes, who left her post at a revered agency after plans for a major buyout went south. When Kavanagh left, a slew of agents followed, the Times reports.

An entire cast of film agents vacated after her, including reps for Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, and Kate Winslet. Rumor has it that the reps are looking to set up a shop of their own. As if things weren't dizzying enough, rival firm William Morris Associates is losing its heavy hitter, Caroline Michel, who's taking over the dwindling agency’s parent company.