NEW YORK, N.Y. – Lisa Scottoline, the bestselling crime writer, has a new publisher and is working on a different kind of book.
A book inspired in part by Philip Roth.
G.P. Putnam’s Sons told The Associated Press on Thursday that it had reached a six-book deal with Scottoline, who previously published with St. Martin’s Press. The deal includes her first historical fiction, a planned trilogy set in Italy during the fascist reign of Mussolini. The first novel in the series is called “Eternal,” and Scottoline is citing Roth, who died Tuesday at age 85, as a reason for writing it. In the 1970s, she studied under Roth while attending the University of Pennsylvania, taking seminars on the “Literature of Desire” and the “Literature of the Holocaust.”
“In both courses, we did a close, almost line-by-line, analysis of the books he chose for us, evidence of Roth’s famous saying that he became an author because he ‘liked sentences,'” she told the AP in a recent statement. “I myself became an author because of him, his seminar and his books, especially his survey of the harrowing first-person accounts of the Holocaust. Roth admired very much the books of Primo Levi, notably his ‘Survival in Auschwitz,’ which haunted me for decades to follow. I knew that someday I would write about the Holocaust in Italy and have been researching and studying it since then.”
“I owe it to Philip Roth,” she added. “I will mourn him always.”
Financial terms for her book deal were not disclosed. With Putnam, Scottoline also plans three domestic thrillers “centred on strong female characters up against impossible odds.” The first work, “Someone Knows,” is scheduled for next spring. Scottoline, 62, is known for novels such as “After Anna” and “Final Appeal.”