Penguin Suing Elizabeth Wurtzel, Other Authors for Return of Advances Plus Interest

Posted on September 26, 2012

The Smoking Gun reports that Penguin is suing several authors for return of their advances, claiming that they never turned in their manuscripts. The list of authors being sued has some big names on it. Elizabeth Wurtzel, who wrote Prozac Nation, is being sued for a $33,000 advance plus $7500 in interest over a book to help teenagers get over depression.

Ana Marie Cox, the original writer of the blog Wonkette, is being sued for return of a $81,250 advance plus $50,000 in interest for a book deal signed in 2006. That book was supposed to be a humorous look at young political activists. The overall deal was worth $50,000 in interest). Her Penguin contract totaled $325,000.

One of the more infamous authors sued is Holocaust survivor Herman Rosenblat. Rosenblat told this amazing story about how a girl who brought him apples when he was in a World War II concentration camp later became his wife after they met on a blind date in the U.S. Oprah said it was the greatest love story she had ever heard. Unfortunately, the story was not true and the author apologized. Penguin pulled the book from publication, but has apparently been unsuccessful getting its money back. Penguin wants Roseblat to pay back his $30,000 advance and $10,000 in interest, which seems excessive to say the least.

Other authors in the firing line are The New Yorker's Rebecca Mead who was supposed to turn in a collection of her journalistic works and "Hip Hop Minister Conrad Tillard" who was supposed to write a book about his falling out with the Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan.