I went through today’s snail mail and found an envelope from Harcourt that contained the dust jacket for All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine–the real thing, not a photocopy. It’s even more handsome than I imagined.
As I ogled the finished product, it hit me that I’d forgotten to ask the managing editor in charge of All in the Dances how the photo insert ended up. (That’s how distracted I was by my vacation!) As you may recall, we were having permission problems with one image, a photo of Balanchine at the piano taken by Walker Evans, and Harcourt asked me to come up with a Plan B in case Plan A fell through at 11:59:59. It was a tricky assignment: I had to find a picture that would fit into the same space, both physically and chronologically, and if at all possible it had to be out of copyright. I went on the Web and quickly located a terrific photo of Igor Stravinsky and Serge Diaghilev, and within a day or two Harcourt reported back that it was in the public domain. I breathed a sigh of relief, went off on vacation…and forgot all about it.
I just shot an e-mail off to the Harcourt back office in San Diego, which wrote back immediately to tell me that they’d had to go with Plan B. That was fine with me (I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me in the first place to include a photo of Diaghilev). And that’s really, truly the end of the story. All in the Dances went to the printer while I was on vacation. We’ll be getting back the first copies at the end of September, and it’ll be shipped out to bookstores shortly thereafter.
Order your copy today!
P.S. Harcourt just informed me that the bound galleys have gone out to reviewers. Eeeeee….