And what will this line include? Pretty much whatever Bourdain wants, it seems: the line will include three-to-five titles a year that "reflect his remarkably eclectic tastes." Or, as Bourdain puts it, "an initial list composed of chefs, enthusiasts, fighters, musicians and dead essayists." As in, not all of them will be about food.
Below, a quick comment from Bourdain on the line, as well as a press release.
Bourdain tells Eater:
I will say that I'm a guy who loves books--on a variety of subjects--and that I relish the opportunity to help other authors be heard. And that this is NOT some cynical bullshit list we're talking about. This will be a very interesting group of authors whose works deserve attention. Also, Dan Halpern--as anyone lucky enough to know or work with him knows--is awesome.
I proudly bask in his reflected glory.
The press release:
BESTSELLING AUTHOR AND TELEVISION PERSONALITY, ANTHONY BOURDAIN TO ACQUIRE BOOKS FOR ECCO
New York, NY (September 12, 2011) – Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, announced today that it will begin a new relationship with No Reservations television host and bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw, Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain will have an eponymous line of books at Ecco that will publish three to five titles a year. With his vast experiences across the globe and his wealth of connections, Bourdain will acquire books that reflect his remarkably eclectic tastes.
The establishment of this line was negotiated by Daniel Halpern, President and Publisher of Ecco, and Bourdain’s literary agent, Kim Witherspoon of Inkwell Management. Halpern says, “I’m extremely excited to be working with Tony as he begins yet another journey into new territory – the publishing world. His Kitchen Confidential (in paperback) was one of the first books we published at Ecco as an imprint of HarperCollins a decade ago. As an informal (over the table) advisor to me during this time, his intuition has been unerring – suggesting such authors as Ferran Adria and Fergus Henderson. Now he’s becoming one of us, sort of.”
"I'm doing this because...I can,” says Bourdain. “Anyone who loves books, I think, given the opportunity to work with a legendary character like Daniel Halpern, would jump at the chance. Like me, he's passionate about words, about food, about the broad range of experiences out there – and I know from my own experience, that he's crazy enough to take a chance on authors whom others have either overlooked or avoided. From my privileged vantage point, I've encountered a lot of extraordinary people with exciting things to say. This is a chance to get those voices heard. We look forward to publishing an unusual mix of new authors, existing works, neglected or under-appreciated masterworks, and translations of people from elsewhere who we think are just too damned brilliant not to be available in English. We're presently looking at an initial list composed of chefs, enthusiasts, fighters, musicians and dead essayists. And we're looking to publish them in a way that's both accessible and respectful of the power of the written word – and appropriately fetishistic about the tactile joys of the printed page."
Ecco publishes a wide range of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and cookbooks. Its authors include Russell Banks, Mario Batali, Charles Bukowski, Leonard Cohen, Richard Ford, Robert Hass, Werner Herzog, Czeslaw Milosz, Joyce Carol Oates, Ron Rash, Tom Robbins, Roger Rosenblatt, Simon Schama, Patti Smith, Scott Spencer, Amy Tan, James Tate, Steven Tyler, Gloria Vanderbilt, and David Wroblewski. Ecco authors have been the recipient of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, among others. Founded in 1971, Ecco marks its 40th anniversary this Fall.
About HarperCollins Publishers
HarperCollins, one of the largest English-language publishers in the world, is a subsidiary of News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV). Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups around the world including the HarperCollins General Books Group, HarperCollins Children’s Books Group, Zondervan, HarperCollins UK, HarperCollins Canada, HarperCollins Australia/New Zealand and HarperCollins India. HarperCollins is a broad-based publisher with strengths in literary and commercial fiction, business books, children's books, cookbooks, mystery, romance, reference, religious and spiritual books. With nearly 200 years of history HarperCollins has published some of the world's foremost authors and has won numerous awards including the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, the Newbery Medal and the Caldecott. Consistently at the forefront of innovation and technological advancement HarperCollins is the first publisher to digitize its content and create a global digital warehouse to protect the rights of its authors, meet consumer demand and generate additional business opportunities. You can visit HarperCollins Publishers on the Internet at http://www.harpercollins.com.