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                                          On Publication Dates, Reviewers and Titles

Here's from a February 4, 1951 letter from John O'Hara, who was writing The Farmers Hotel, to Donald S. Klopfer (1902-1986), a co-founder of Random House:

  I have been studying my wafer diary and I think the dates I like for publication of my book are the 8th and 15th of November. According to the diary, Election Day is the 6th of November, and I would like to publish after and not during the campaigns which, while there won't be a presidential one, will be like a presidential one this year. The 8th is the Thursday because Charlie Poore does the Times review on Thursday, as you know, and, as you may know, he is favorablty disposed toward this author. Prescott is so unfavorably disposed that nothing I write can expect fair consideration, and while I have survived many bad reviews, if there is a way to avoid them it ought to be tried. Gannet is not "pro" me, but he is less "anti" than Prescott.

  I have no title yet and, according to custom, probably won't have one until the MS is half finished. I will then stumble on a title, people will try to tell me it's no good, and in a month or so it will be accepted and people will be even making puns on it. That has been the way with every title, from Appointment in Samarra to A Rage to Live, even including Pal Joey.

From Selected Letters, Page 234.

Matthew Bruccoli adds: "Beginning with The Farmers Hotel (8 November 1951) all of O'Hara's books were published on Thursdays. With Ten North Frederick (1955), he commenced his custom of publishing on Thanksgiving Day."

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