Saturday, June 2, 2007
FAMOUS LITERARY AGENT: ELLEN LEVINE - Executive Vice President - Trident Media Group
Ellen Levine is an Executive Vice President of Trident Media Group. Her famous client’s books have become major films,
Ms. Levine's career with two publishers: New American Library and Harper; Row (now HarperCollins). She then worked at other agencies before forming Ellen Levine Literary Agency in 1980.
Ellen has appeared on numerous publishing panels and spoken at many writers’ conferences. Many of her clients have appeared on the NY Times Bestseller List and have won major awards and prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the P.E.N. Faulkner Award, the P.E.N. Hemingway Award, The Booker Prize, and The L.A. Times Book Award among others.
Many of her clients’ books have become major feature films, including The English Patient, Holes, The Sweet Hereafter, Affliction, Housekeeping, and Ride With the Devil.
The English Patient is a 1992 novel by Sri Lankan Canadian novelist Michael Ondaatje. The film was directed by Anthony Minghella, featured Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche. “The English Patient” won 9 Oscars and 37 nominations.
The Sweet Hereafter is a 1991 novel by Russel Banks. It became a 1997 Canadian film and it was written and directed by Oscar-nominated Atom Egoyan. The film was nominated for two Oscars, won Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and 29 more other nominations
Affliction is a 1989 novel by Russel Banks and it became a 1997 film starring Nick Nolte, Academy award winner for best actress Sissy Spacek, James Coburn and two time Academy award-winning nominated, William Dafoe. The film was written and directed by former film critic,screenwriter director Paul Schrader
Housekeeping is a 1987 Novel by Marilynn Robin the winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, for "Gilead". Housekeeping became a 1988 film starring Academy Award winner Christine Lahti.
Ride with the Devila coming of age novelby Daniel Woodrell. It became a 1997 film, directed by one of todays greatest contemporary filmmaker 'Ang Lee'.
Ellen enjoys representing both literary and popular fiction, including thrillers and women's fiction. She is particularly interested in narrative non-fiction, history, biography, popular culture, world affairs, and politics. She also has a select list of children’s and young adult authors.
She is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives where she was Chair of the Contracts Committee for many years. http://www.tridentmediagroup.com/ellen_levine.html
EI: How do you feel about working with first-time authors? How many and what kinds of first-time authors have become published through your efforts with Trident Media Literary Agency?
Ellen Lavine: Since my current list keeps me very busy, and because the climate for new fiction is very competitive, I need to be very selective about taking on first-time authors. That said, one of the most exciting aspects of my work is discovering an exceptionally talented new writer with a distinctive voice. I've handled many first works of fiction - a couple of examples: A collection of short stories published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux entitled GET DOWN by Asali Solomon, an Iowa Writer's Workshop grad, and a first novel to be published this Fall by Tin House Books entitled OVENMAN by Jeff Parker.
EI: Your taste in books is obviously eclectic based on the genre categories you are willing to represent, including literary, popular fiction, thrillers, women’s fiction, narrative non-fiction, historical, biography, popular culture, world affairs, politics, selected list of children and young adults. That's a lot to juggle. What particular qualities do you look for in work by a first time young adult writer, for example?
Ellen Lavine: The same qualities to which I'm attracted in adult fiction: appealing voice, great storytelling, well-developed characters, quality prose; and if there's a strong theme or handle, that helps. I've recently sold a first YA novel to Knopf, FERN VERDANT, by Diana Leszczysnki, to which all of this applies.
To learn more about Ellen Levine, please visit their website