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Surprise: Woody Allen’s memoir has come out in the US after all

Weeks after Woody Allen’s old publisher dropped him, he found another. His book is now out.

Woody Allen in San Sebastián, Spain, July 9, 2019.
Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images

Woody Allen’s controversial memoir was released on Monday in a surprise announcement, the Associated Press reports. The book release, which comes with no prior notice, arrives just two weeks after Allen was dropped by his previous publisher following a staff walkout.

Allen’s memoir, titled Apropos of Nothing, was first set to be published by the Hachette imprint Grand Central Publishing this April. But Grand Central’s March 2 announcement sparked immediate controversy. Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow has accused Allen of molesting her when she was 7 years old, and Allen’s son Ronan Farrow, who has consistently stood by Dylan in her accusations, is also a Hachette author. Ronan Farrow’s book Catch and Kill, about his experience reporting on sexual predators, was a major success for the Hachette imprint Little, Brown and Company in 2019.

Both Farrows immediately denounced Hachette’s decision to publish Allen, and Ronan Farrow dropped the company as his publisher. And on March 5, Hachette staffers from imprints throughout the company, at all levels, walked out in solidarity with the Farrows. It was an unprecedented move within publishing, and it was effective. The next day, Hachette announced that it was canceling the publication of Allen’s book.

As part of that cancellation, Hachette reverted all rights over the book to Allen. That meant he was free to sell the book to any other publisher, and now he has. Apropos of Nothing has gone to Arcade Publishing, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing.

Unlike Hachette, Skyhorse is not one of the so-called “Big Five” houses that dominate US trade publishing. It’s a smaller independent house that has published plenty of legitimate authors, including Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, but also has a history of publishing conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination and vaccines. Skyhorse has also worked with Allen before: In 2011, he wrote the introduction to director Ingmar Bergman’s memoir, published through Skyhorse.

In a statement to the AP, Arcade editor Jeannette Seaver said: “In this strange time, when truth is too often dismissed as ‘fake news,’ we as publishers prefer to give voice to a respected artist, rather than bow to those determined to silence him.”

The AP appears to be the only outlet that has been able to see a copy of Allen’s memoir thus far. In the book, the AP reports, Allen continues to deny ever harming Dylan Farrow. He writes that he “never laid a finger on Dylan, never did anything to her that could be even misconstrued as abusing her; it was a total fabrication from start to finish.”

According to the industry publication Publishers Lunch, the book will be listed online later Monday. Arcade has announced a print run of 75,000 copies, priced at $30 for the hardcover and $13.99 for the e-book.