Javier Aparicio Maydeu: "Carmen Balcells's masterstroke in the literary match with Wylie"
Carmen Balcells and Andrew Wylie, two of the most influential literary agents in the world, have decided to merge their two agencies to create Balcells & Wylie. In a press release, Balcells and Wylie announced the signature of a "memorandum of understanding" with a view to setting up an international agency to be named Balcells & Wylie.
"Carmen Balcells never ceases to amaze. She is an unpredictable and visionary woman, and here she has played a masterstroke in her game of chess with the master Wylie," asserts Javier Aparicio Maydeu, Director of the IDEC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra Publishing Master's.
Javier Aparicio speaks from a position of knowledge, as a close acquaintance of Carmen Balcells. He was an agent and literary advisor at the Carmen Balcells Literary Agency between 1985 and 1999. Fourteen years which gave him a first-hand insight into the style of 83-year-old Carmen Balcells. "She is an intuitive woman who is always one step ahead, and that has allowed her to sign such prestigious authors as Mario Vargas Llosa, Eduardo Mendoza, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, Gabriel García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes, Javier Cercas, Camilo José Cela and many others".
The gambit of merging with Wylie (aged 67) is apparently her final move. "This serves to guarantee the future of the company, paradoxically hand-in-hand with one of its main competitors". For Andrew Wylie, whose portfolio includes such writers as Norman Mailer, Richard Ford, Jorge Luis Borges, Martin Amis and Philip Roth, has for years been attempting to capture prominent Spanish-speaking authors. The Balcells and Wylie merger creates an international "literary superagency" which owns much of contemporary literature courtesy of more than 200 top-drawer writers.