Monday, September 14th, 2009

Natasha Vargas-Cooper Sells 'Mad Men' Book

ALSO A BOOK!The Awl's Chief Los Angeles Correspondent Natasha Vargas-Cooper has sold The Mad Men Files to Julia Cheiffetz at Harper Studio, the world's best imprint. (We're very biased!) The book is based on her long-running blog, The Footnotes of Mad Men, which delves into the real-world cultural and historical data at the edges of the TV show; her writing on 'Mad Men' began recently cropping up here as well. We asked Natasha via IM: why a book, lady? "Oh, well, because what makes the show so appealing to me is how admirably it tries to captures the zeitgeist of the mid-century without mythologizing it. Also, I like big pretty pictures. The glossiness of the ads and the interiors are something I always want to run my fingers over. Like, it's actually more than ephemera, it's lasting. HISTORY IS LASTING, DAMMIT!"

26 Comments / Post A Comment

IBentMyWookie (#133)

I am totally open to some Fahrenheit 451 shit going down.

Alex Balk (#4)

I am hoping it is a timeless classic too!

IBentMyWookie (#133)

How droll.

Don't pretend you don't find it depressing that hitting up Wikipedia and annotating a tv series is now considered legitimate grounds for landing a book deal, Emo boy.

I haven't read the book, because it doesn't exist yet! But it's a perfectly valid premise for a weird little fun book. Many have sold books with less inherent validity! (Coughs, stares in mirrors.)

Also, I think most hating on book deals–though there's still plenty of valid book-deal-hating to do, believe me, and I intend to do some of it someday soon–has to do with the idea of scarcity. There isn't such a thing, really. Right now, in this world? Absolutely anyone can sell a book, if they want to put up with the pain in the ass of producing said book, which, ugh, is a pain in the ass.

But it's not the 80s anymore. It's not like book publishing is some far-away, unattainable thing. The more, the merrier.

I just think it should be noted that there's less "scarcity" with imprints like HarperStudio, and the forthcoming OR Books, et al–and the others that are to follow.

All that being said? There's no way I'm buying "This is Why You're Fat" or "Look at that fucking hipster" or "Cats who have Other Cats on Top of Them" or whatever. But then I'm not exactly the target market.

Hez (#147)

As good as "This is Why You're a Cat"? IMPOSSIBLE.

joshc (#442)

OK, sure. Of all of the tumblr book deals of the year, this is one of the better ones. It's beyond the pure collage or craigslist casting and the premise is valid and ther result should be good and weird and shiny. But isn't it kind of mind-boggling that Winer/AMC/et al haven't already made this, at least as a DVD extra?

Oooo booo Wooksters. Who says there's no work for people with BAs in American history awarded to them by 2nd tier public universities? Surely, not you!

Hey man, I won the dean's prize for outstanding research. I got shingles cause of it. Mama has earned her salve.

I have no problem seeing this as book-worthy. But I'm curious–is there a massive licensing mountain to be climbed? Or is this "transformative" fair use?

Is good question! I imagine there's some minor licensing? But–hmm, trying to think of good case studies–does anyone remember Madonna's reaction to Madonnarama? (I certainly don't.)

Oh, related, from Caitlin on Twitter!

@Awl Columnist Natasha Vargas-Cooper Sells 'Mad Men' Book. Note to self re-read Castle Rock Seinfeld copyright case

narnio (#38)


GiovanniGF (#224)

Isn't Mad Men a TV show?

So I have heard! That it is on the TV!

GiovanniGF (#224)


AWESOM…oh I was also going to write that…shucks


HiredGoons (#603)

Can I get it on a Kindle?

Liana (#161)

Can I adapt it for TV? I'm thinking a la Hitchcock Presents: Natasha introduces the story, then the lamps and the octopus carvings shoot the shit over Old Fashions.

Liana (#161)

Fashioneds, they are.

katiebakes (#32)


Abe Sauer (#148)

Can one read this book without having to watch "Sopranos: 1950"? Because that would work for me.

mathnet (#27)

As long as it has big, glossy pictures? I am totally buying this book.

I am excited for this book.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Ok. I never watch the show but this is funny because… well…. Mad Men set in modern Boston…. cahhhmaaan!

Scott (#1,636)

I, too, am very excited for this book.

alexblagg (#1,637)

This is FANTASTIC news. Congrats to NVC!

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