Gladwell Hates Midtown, Loves $80K Speaking Fees

Malcolm Gladwell has a new book coming out next month, have you heard? Outliers, for which Little, Brown reportedly paid $4 million, may be his most ambitious book or his least, according to New York, which takes a look at the cult of Gladwell in this week's issue. Among the things that you may be surprised to hear: The "rock-star" staff writer at The New Yorker has an "aversion to midtown" (which is where the Condé Nast-owned title happens to be located), but the magazine happily uses a courier service to correspond with him.

Gladwell says he's a bit uncomfortable with his fame, and isn't thrilled when he's recognized in public and fans stop him to shake his hand. ("It's weird to be recognized by someone you don't know... The asymmetry of it is unsettling.") He's still very much in demand as a corporate speaker, and not just with big companies like Microsoft or Intel: He was paid $80,000 by a dentistry convention to give a talk, and the trade group that hired him says it was worth every penny. ("There wasn't one person afterwards who said he wasn't worth the money.") For his part, Gladwell tells New York that "at the end of the day," he's "just a journalist." We're pretty sure that makes him the only journalist whose upcoming book tour appearances can be booked on Ticketmaster.

Geek Pop Star [NYM]