As the policeman from Midtown North said, “Now this is a party.” At that moment, several thousand of Donald Trump’s closest friends were gyrating on a dance floor smaller than most volleyball courts. Every few seconds, another among the thousands of red balloons that dropped from the ceiling of the atrium at Trump Tower would explode, a victim of a stiletto heel or an errant champagne glass. With expansive thanks to publisher Si Newhouse of Random House, editor Peter Osnos (ditto) and co-author Tony Schwartz, this was Trump’s little get-together to introduce “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” a book that sold a cool 54,000 copies in one week alone. As groupies gawked, Hollywood-premiere style, outside on Fifth Avenue, Trump and his omnipresent bodyguards worked their way through a scene that was among New York’s more interesting tickets in weeks. Twenty violinists serenaded arriving guests. Jackie Mason did Borscht Belt commentary to introduce the real estate billionaire turned best-selling author. Phyllis George and Barbara Walters showed up. An exercise guru named High Voltage danced, or worked out, or something, in a Lurex bra and purple spandex cape. Trump, for his part, revealed he would donate his share of the book’s bound-to-be-enormous profits to various charities, none specified as yet. Schwartz, however, said he intended to keep his portion.
AWARDS: Richard Howard, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and professor of French literature at the University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded the French-American Translation Prize of $5,000 for “William Marshal: The Flower of Chivalry,” his English translation of the medieval historian Georges Duby’s “Gillaume le Marechal.” The prize was presented to Howard at a Dec. 2 luncheon in the Trustees Room of the New York Public Library. Nancy Ampoux received an Honorable Mention by the French-American Foundation for her translation of the novel “Cat’s Grin” by Francois Maspero. The annual prize, established last year by the French-American Foundation, is designed to honor and encourage translations of French works of note into English and is made possible through the support of IBM-France.
Also, Susan Minot has been awarded the 1987 Prix Femina Etranger for her novel “Monkeys.”
MORE AWARDS: As winners of the Mildred and Harold Strauss Livings, Diane Johnson and Robert Stone will each receive $250,000--$50,000 annually for the next five years. The Livings, as the awards are known, were made possible by a 1981 bequest from Harold and Mildred Strauss to provide writers of English prose literature with a stipend to cover their living expenses. Harold Strauss, who died in 1975, was editor in chief of Alfred A. Knopf.
NBCC NOMINEES: Rebuffed by the National Book Awards, Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” (Knopf) and Philip Roth’s “The Counterlife” (Farrar Straus & Giroux) are vying once again, this time for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Other fiction nominees are: “The Age of Grief” (Knopf), by Jane Smiley; “Crossing to Safety” (Random House), by Wallace Stegner and Tom Wolfe’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities” (Farrar Straus & Giroux).
General nonfiction nominees include: National Book Award winner Richard Rhodes, for “The Making of the Atom Bomb” (Simon & Schuster); “Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle” (Harvard University Press), by Stephen Jay Gould; “The Genius of the People” (Harper & Row), from Charles Mee; “Democracy Is in the Streets” (Simon & Schuster), by James Miller; and “And the Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic” (St. Martin’s) by Randy Shilts.
Biography/autobiography nominees are: “An American Childhood” (Harper & Row), by Annie Dillard; “Chaucer: His Life, His Works, His World” (Dutton), by Donald R. Howard; “Don’t Tread on Me: The Selected Letters of S. J. Perelman” (Viking), edited by Prudence Crowther; “Private Domain” (Knopf), by Paul Taylor; “Timebends: A Life” (Grove Press), by Arthur Miller.
Criticism nominees: “Collected Prose” (Farrar Straux & Giroux) by Robert Lowell; “Dance Writings” (Knopf), by Edwin Denby; “Every Force Evolves a Form” (North Point Press) by Guy Davenport; “Sight Lines” (Knopf), by Arlene Croce; “Understanding Toscanini” (Knopf), by Joseph Horowitz.
Poetry nominees: “April Galleons” (Viking), by John Ashbery; “Flesh and Blood” (Farrar Straus & Giroux), by C. K. Williams; “Happy Hour” (University of Chicago Press), by Alan Shapiro; “In Other Words” (Knopf), by May Swenson; “The Sunset Maker” (Atheneum), by Donald Justice.
THE RECORD BREAKER OF RUSSIAN HILL: Two weeks after its official publication date, “Kaleidoscope” (Delacorte Press), by San Francisco’s own Danielle Steel, had a whopping 1 million copies in print. Steel’s 21 other books have more than 85 million copies in print worldwide.
SO YOU WANT TO BE A PUBLISHER?: An analysis by BP Report, a book industry trade journal, showed that book publishers earned more than $1 billion in pretax profits in 1986. Educational publishing continued to be the biggest profit-maker.
THE CAPOTE CONNECTION: One hundred items from Truman Capote’s personal literary archive, presented to the New York Public Library after his death in 1984, will be on view there through March 19. “Truman Capote: Writer and Celebrity” includes manuscripts, typescripts, correspondence and photographs, moving from his earliest novel, “Other Voices, Other Rooms” (1948) to his final controversial expose, “Answered Prayers.”
DEAR, DARLING DOROTHY: Chris Rose Productions has optioned Marion Meade’s “Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?” for a two-hour movie on HBO. The Parker biography, by the biographer also of Eleanor of Acquitaine and a book about Abelard and Eloise, will be published in January by Villard.
DOES THE CHAPLAIN PRAY FOR THE SENATORS? “No,” says Rep. Morris K. Udall (D-Ariz.) in his new book “Too Funny To Be President” (Henry Holt & Co.), “He looks at the senator and then prays for the country.”
LEGACY: Tudor Communications, the publishing company founded by the late Ronald Busch last January, has been acquired by Stanley J. Corwin and Gerald Sindell. As fate would have it, Corwin and Sindell sold Tudor its first title, Gloria Keverne’s “A Man Cannot Cry.” Corwin and Sindell, partners since 1983, are responsible for commercial publication of the late Helen Hooven Santmyer’s ". . . And Ladies of the Club.” More recently, they discovered the unpublished letters of Henry Miller, which were published in 12 countries as “Dear, Dear Brenda.”
MEMO FROM MARK TWAIN: Amazingly, many of the stories of Mark Twain have never been published for the audience for which they were written--the young reader. “A Cat Tale,” for example, was written for Twain’s own two daughters. “Legend of Sagenfeld” was Twain’s effort at a traditional fairy tale, intended for readers from 3 to 8. “The Stolen White Elephant,” about a giant white Bible-eating elephant, was last published in a 1923 collection of Twain stories, not geared to children. But in issuing these stories in volumes lovingly illustrated by Hans Christian Andersen Award-winner Robert Ingpen, we hear, Publishing International Company of Sydney, Australia, in a co-venture with Readers Digest Australia and distributed in this country by Publishers Group West, has encountered strong resistance from U.S. booksellers. “What child could acquire a taste for Twain?” our source tells us the booksellers are asking. Answer: Any child who gets to read Mark Twain.
WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK: Del Mar literary agent Sandra Dijkstra reports that San Francisco writer Amy Tan has sold a first collection of short stories, “The Joy Luck Club,” to Putnam’s. The title refers to a San Francisco social club where Chinese-Americans gather for the purposes of discussing investments, playing mah-jongg, eating dim sum and “saying stories.”
FOUR VOLUMES LONG: The New Palgrave “Dictionary of Economics” will be published in January, its compilation spearheaded by John Eatwell of Cambridge University. The 4.3-million-word effort will retail for $650.
CALLING ALL ASPIRING PRIZE WINNERS: Female writers of nonfiction who have never published a book, but who have published at least one article in a national publication are invited to apply for the $3,000 PEN/Jerard Fund Award. Further information may be obtained from the PEN American Center, 568 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10012. Deadline for submissions is Feb. 15.
AND MORE AWARDS: Robert Giroux, Columbia University class of ’36 and editor-in-chief for more than 30 years at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, received his alma mater’s highest recognition, the Alexander Hamilton Medal. Giroux, 73, has worked in the past with T. S. Eliot, Carl Sandburg, Edmund Wilson, E.M. Forster, Jean Stafford, George Orwell, Flannery O’Connor, Bernard Malamud and Robert Lowell, as well as fellow Columbians Thomas Merton and Jack Kerouac. He continues today to edit such contemporary authors as Isaac Bashevis Singer, Walker Percy, Paul Horgan, Madeleine L’Engle and Mary Lee Settle.
For his “relentless” work on behalf of worldwide human rights, Random House board chairman, chief executive officer and editor-in-chief Robert Bernstein has won the second annual Human Rights Award of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights here. The previous winner was Philippine President Corazon C. Aquino.