The head of independent book publisher Grove/Atlantic, Entrekin has spent over 25 years editing and publishing books, and partying with people who write them.
Ervin Morgan Entrekin Jr. grew up in Nashville, graduated from Stanford in 1977, then signed up for the Radcliffe Publishing Course. He started in the business at Delacorte Press, working under the late, great Seymour Lawrence and editing the likes of Anne Phillips, Richard Brautigan, and Kurt Vonnegut. In 1982 he moved over to Simon & Schuster, where he made his name by championing, acquiring and editing Bret Easton Ellis' breakout novel Less Than Zero. Of course, his Ellis acquisition was no coincidence: By this point, Entrekin had become a fixture in the nascent Brat Pack scene, partying voraciously with Ellis, Gary Fisketjon, Jay McInerney, and (in later years) Sonny Mehta. In 1984, with financing from his attorney father and Mort Zuckerman, he created his own imprint within Zuckerman's Atlantic Monthly Press, Morgan Entrekin Books. Seven years later, he bought Atlantic outright, and two years after that, he purchased Grove Press, home to a formidable backlist that included D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, and Samuel Beckett. Today, Grove/Atlantic is a rarity in book publishing, a highbrow house that's yet to be sucked up by a major media conglomerate.
Entrekin's most famous publishing coup was acquiring then-unknown Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain for a relatively paltry $100,000 in 1995. In the course of promoting the Civil War-themed novel, Entrekin "invented" the pre-publication tour, dispatching Frazier to meet book buyers in various cities before the book landed in stores. Other books Grove/Atlantic's had success with include Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down, Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City, and the works of Sherman Alexie and P.J. O'Rourke. [Image via Getty, with P.J. O'Rourke]