Bertelsmann's Penguin division snaps up Simon & Schuster
BERLIN – German media giant Bertelsmann said Wednesday that it is buying publisher Simon & Schuster, further expanding its existing U.S. portfolio that already includes the number one American publisher Penguin Random House. “Simon & Schuster strengthens Bertelsmann’s footprint globally, and (particularly) in the U.S., its second-largest market,” the Guetersloh-based company said in a statement. The purchase of Simon & Schuster reduces the so-called Big Five of American publishing — which also includes HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group and Macmillan — to four. But Penguin Random House chief executive Markus Dohle told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Simon & Schuster would retain its editorial independence and that individual imprints within Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster could continue to compete with each other for book deals. The German conglomerate, which was founded in 1835 and also owns a broad portfolio of broadcast, music and online businesses, has been the sole owner of Penguin Random House since April.
Margaret Atwood honored with Dayton Literary Peace Prize
The Canadian writer and teacher has earned the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, officials of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize officials announced Monday. The award is named for the late U.S. diplomat who brokered the 1995 Bosnian peace accords reached in the Ohio city. Some readers of “The Handmaid's Tale” saw in the leaders of authoritarian Gilead similarities to the rise of Republican Donald Trump to president in the election of 2016. Sharon Rab, the founder and chairwoman of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation, praised Atwood for popular success with writing that also educates people about pressing social justice and environmental issues. “The Testaments,” her 2019 sequel to “The Handmaid's Tale,” quickly joined her bestsellers.