Solitary Refinement

The London Sunday Telegraph has just paid a whopping $70,000 for first serial rights to “Jacqueline du Pre, A Biography,” due out in hardcover in England in June. Du Pre was the world-renowned English cellist whose career was tragically cut short in 1973 by multiple sclerosis when she was 28; she died in 1987. Author Carol Easton told us she had Du Pre’s cooperation on the book, but met with “a lot of opposition from her family, because they didn’t want anyone getting behind the myth.”

The myth, Easton explained, “was that Jacqueline had this golden, fairy tale life, when in fact, she was isolated by her talent as a child, isolated in the concert world, and then by her illness.”

Easton will include material on Du Pre’s husband, conductor-pianist Daniel Barenboim (fired recently from his $1.1-million job as director of the Opera de la Bastille in Paris, amidst much publicity, and recently named director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra). As Du Pre deteriorated, Easton said, Barenboim moved alone to Paris, eventually becoming involved and having children with another woman (they married last year).

Agent Michael Hamilburg said that about 20 publishers have expressed interest in U.S. book rights, which go up for bids in NYC later this month.


Meanwhile, after waiting 13 years, William Morrow has finally issued the paperback version of Easton’s critically praised “The Search for Sam Goldwyn.”

The timing, she suspects, has something to do with the April publication of Knopf’s “Goldwyn: A Biography,” by A. Scott Berg, which Publisher’s Weekly recently reviewed as “a thoroughly engrossing book about an unadmirable man.”