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Matthew Weiner, the creator of ‘Mad Men,’ will publish a novel

'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner will publish a novel.
(Kirk McCoy / Los Angeles Times)

Matthew Weiner, the creator of “Mad Men,” the stylish television series that introduced America to handsome, hard-drinking advertising executive Don Draper and his friends (and enemies), will release his debut novel next year.

Little, Brown and Co. announced that it will publish Weiner’s “Heather, the Totality” in the fall of 2017. It’s the first book from the producer and screenwriter also known for his work on “The Sopranos.”

The publisher describes Weiner’s novel as “a dark fable set in contemporary Manhattan ... about three people from two worlds who are on a collision course in pursuit of a beautiful child.”

Weiner, a Baltimore native who lives in Los Angeles, became famous as the creator of “Mad Men,” which won 16 Emmy awards and had 116 nominations during its run from July 2007 to May 2015.

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“Mad Men” stood out for its portrayal of midcentury America, with furnishings, hairstyles and fashions of the 1960s. In later seasons, the books that were read by its characters were seen as keys to their frames of mind. For Joan Harris, it was “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” by D.H. Lawrence; Pete Campbell, “The Crying of Lot 49” by Thomas Pynchon; Betty Draper, “The Group” by Mary McCarthy; Don Draper’s list included John le Carre’s “The Spy Who Came In From the Cold,” “Meditations in an Emergency” by Frank O’Hara, “The Inferno” by Dante and, of course, some Philip Roth — “Portnoy’s Complaint.” (Here’s a PDF that lists them)

Weiner is an avid reader; in 2014 he told the New York Times that Gabriel García Márquez is his favorite author and that he admires the work of Michel Houellebecq.

“As someone to whom literature has always been essential, the only thing better than the experience of writing ‘Heather, the Totality’ is having it published by Little, Brown and Company,” Weiner said in a news release from the publisher. “I can’t imagine a more exciting way to begin this part of my writing life.”

Weiner started writing for television not long after earning a master’s degree from the University of Southern California. His early credits include the sitcoms “Andy Richter Controls the Universe” and “Becker.” He later joined the writing staff of the mob drama “The Sopranos” and in 2007, went on to create “Mad Men.”

There’s still a year before Weiner’s book hits shelves. Until then, you can rewatch “Mad Men” or read some midcentury classics while sipping your Canadian Club.


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