Andrew Wylie (literary agent)

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Andrew Wylie (born 1947 in New York City) is an American literary agent, known in the book industry as The Jackal.

Early life[edit]

Wylie is the son of Craig Wylie, one time editor-in-chief at Houghton Mifflin.[1] He grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts and attended St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, from which he was dismissed in 1965: an interview with his university alumni magazine stated that this was for arranging illicit excursions to Boston for fellow students and supplying them, illegally, with alcohol.[2] This did not prevent his acceptance at Harvard, his father's alma mater, where he studied Romance Languages & Literatures, graduating magna cum laude in 1969 (class of 1970).


In 1972, Wylie published a short collection of poetry, Yellow Flowers. Many of the verses cited in public sources are sexually explicit in nature. In a 2007 interview, fellow agent Ira Silverberg suggested that Wylie has since attempted to acquire the remaining copies of the collection.[3] Wylie himself denied this allegation, describing Yellow Flowers as a "youthful indiscretion".[4]

Literary agent[edit]

Wylie founded the literary agency named after him in New York in 1980. He opened a second office in London in 1996.[2] It now represents more than 700 clients and literary estates. For his business tactics, Wylie has acquired "The Jackal" as a nickname.


Throughout his career as a literary agent, Wylie has attracted attention for poaching clients from other agents.[1] In 1995 Martin Amis left his agent of 22 years, Pat Kavanagh, for Wylie, who was reported to have secured an advance of £500,000 for Amis's novel The Information.[2] The move created a rift between Amis and his long-time friend Julian Barnes, who was married to Kavanagh.

In July 2010, Wylie launched a new business, Odyssey Editions, to publish e-books. The first twenty titles were launched on 21 July, available exclusively from Wylie's friendly attitude towards Amazon was short-lived, though: In 2014 he advised: “If you have a choice between the plague and Amazon, pick the plague!”[5] He later went on to liken Amazon's tactics to those of the ISIS terrorist organization.[6]




  1. ^ a b Brockes, Emma. "Agent provocateur", The Guardian, London 24 November 2003. Retrieved on 2010-07-22.
  2. ^ a b c Lambert, Craig. "Fifteen Percent of Immortality", Harvard Magazine, Cambridge July 2010. Retrieved on 2010-07-22.
  3. ^ Schambelan, Elizabeth. "He is curious (yellow)", Bookforum, April 2007. Retrieved on 2010-08-20.
  4. ^ Grove, Lloyd. "The world according to Andrew Wylie", Portfolio, December 2007. Retrieved on 2010-08-20.
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  8. ^ "Quote For The Day". 10 October 2013.

External links[edit]