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Lit picks

Brillstein booked

Uber-manager Bernie Brillstein and his agent Dan Strone of William Morris have sent a proposal around to publishers titled “I Have to Stop Doing This Before I Go Blind,” touted as “an entertainment Iacocca’s how-to from the trenches, told with Mayor Koch’s ebullient brio.”

The proposal promises a memoir “reinventing autobiography as a no holds-barred primer on how to survive and prosper in the entertainment industry — and still love it.” The book, according to the nine-page proposal, will include ” ‘Bernie-isms’ like ‘Never trust anyone who walks you to the elevator with his arm around you.’ ”

Co-authored by David Rensin, the book will trace Brillstein’s 40-year-plus career in Hollywood, from William Morris’ mailroom in 1955 to co-founding Brillstein/Grey Entertainment, the management and TV and film production company.

St. Martin’s taps Wallace

Bob Wallace has been named editor in chief of St. Martin’s Press. Wallace was formerly editor of the Denver Post, executive editor at Rolling Stone, senior editor at Newsweek, and most recently senior producer for “PrimeTime Live.” He begin his new job April 1.

St. Martin’s also signed author Stephen Coonts (“Flight of the Intruder,” “Under Siege”) to a seven-figure, two book deal; and the house has picked up the U.S. pub rights to “Popcorn,” which was recently optioned by Warner Bros. for Joel Schumacher to direct from Ben Elton’s adaptation of his own novel.

Weisbach nabs Neihart’s next

Rob Weisbach Books, an imprint of William Morrow, struck a deal to publish a new, untitled novel by 32-year-old scribe Ben Neihart (“Hey, Joe”).

Book is about a male college student who begins dating a slightly older man. As the two grow more involved, the student learns of the man’s violent past.

World rights for the new novel, due in 1998, were acquired by Weisbach editor Colin Dickerman. ICM agent Sloan Harris repped the author on the deal.

‘Godfather’ anni celebrated

In honor of the 25th anniversary of “The Godfather,” in November Faber & Faber will publish “The Godfather Book” by Peter Cowie.

Analyzing the themes and historical inspiration behind the “Godfather” trilogy, Cowie — Variety’s international publishing director — draws material from access to helmer Francis Ford Coppola’s archives. He also interviewed Mario Puzo, then-Par production chief Robert Evans and other principal players behind the film.

Books on the biz

“Who the Devil Made It”

Peter Bogdanovich (Knopf) Pub date: April

Director, actor, screenwriter and critic Bogdanovich has assembled his recorded conversations with famous directors about technique, working methods and relationships with actors and studios. Each interview is preceded by a summary of the director’s career and followed by a list of the helmer’s movies.

“Gen X TV”

Robert Owen (Syracuse University) Pub date: April

Operating on the premise that most 18- to 34-year-olds’ identities are shaped by popular television shows, Owen, a TV critic for the Albany Times Union, includes sections on the connections between cyberspace and television and the history of network and cable TV.

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