20 – Discord


Mark Harris (1922-2007), author

Eliot Fremont-Smith (1929-2007), editor

Thirty years before Alan Kaufman’s Jew Boy (2000), Mark Harris’s The Goy perplexed readers, reviewers, and his publisher with its disparaging title and attitude. Harris had not published a novel in 10 years and The Goy was a stark contrast to the author’s well-received four novels related to the baseball career of Henry W. Wiggen, especially the bestseller Bang the Drum Slowly (1956). Correspondence with Harris’s longtime editor Al Hart (recently transferred to Dial), and with his new Little Brown editor-in-chief, Eliot Fremont-Smith, reflects the tension around Harris’s book. Fremont-Smith copied Mrs. Ad Schulberg, Harris’s agent, on his decision to sever Little Brown’s ties with Harris. Harris was able to follow his old editor, Al Hart, to Dial, who published The Goy.

All items from the Mark Harris papers

  1. Mark Harris to Al Hart, typed letter (carbon), November 1, 1969 (2 pages)
  2. Eliot Fremont-Smith to Mark Harris, typed letter signed, November 4, 1969 (3 pages)
  3. The Goy. Uncorrected galleys. Dial Press, publication date September 11, 1970