I started my literary agency in February, 2008.
Prior to becoming an agent, I was the owner of Cody's Books in
Berkeley, California for 30 years.
I bought most of the new titles for the bookstore. Some of them worked,
and some of them didn't. The largest selling book we ever had at Cody's
was the autobiography of Bill Clinton. It sold over 2500 copies in one
day, the day he came to the store to sign books.
In the sixties, Cody's played a major role in the anti-war movement,
much of it taking place right outside our front door. Once the police
lobbed a tear gas canister into the store. It gave a new meaning to
books we call "tear jerkers."
The most exciting experience I had at Cody's was when somebody threw a
pipe bomb through the window in 1989. It was believed to be associated
with Salman Rushdie's Satanic
Verses. Fortunately it didn't explode.
After the bomb was removed, the staff at Cody's voted unanimously to
continue carrying Rushdie's book. That was my proudest moment in
Over the years, Cody's hosted thousands of writers including: Norman
Mailer, Gary Snyder, Alan Ginsberg, Kurt Vonnegut, Salman Rushdie,
Joseph Heller, and Alice Walker. We also hosted events for major public
and cultural figures such as: Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Mohammed Ali,
Mickey Mantle, Gloria Steinem,and Buckminster Fuller.
Cody's closed its doors for the last time in 2008, the
victim of changing buying habits. But people everywhere come up to me
and tell me how much Cody's meant to them and how it enriched their
lives. I feel pretty good about that.