Allen has new publisher, memoir out Monday while world distracted by coronavirus

NEW YORK — Woody Allen’s memoir, dropped by its original publisher after widespread criticism, has found a new home, The Associated Press reported.

The 400-page book, still called “Apropos of Nothing,” was released Monday by Arcade Publishing.

“The book is a candid and comprehensive personal account by Woody Allen of his life,” Arcade announced, “ranging from his childhood in Brooklyn through his acclaimed career in film, theater, television, print and standup comedy, as well as exploring his relationships with family and friends.”

With little advance notice, the 84-year-old filmmaker’s book arrives at a time when much of the world is preoccupied with coronavirus. Financial details for his deal with Arcade were not released.

“Apropos of Nothing” begins in the wry tone of such literary heroes as J.D. Salinger and George S. Kaufman, describing his New York City upbringing and love affairs with Diane Keaton and others with a sense of nostalgia and angst that also mirrors Allen movies ranging from “Radio Days” and “The Purple Rose of Cairo” to “Annie Hall” and “Hannah and Her Sisters.” But it darkens and becomes defensive, not surprisingly, as he recalls his relationship with Mia Farrow and the allegations he abused daughter Dylan Farrow that for many have come to define his public image in recent years.

Allen has denied sexually abusing Dylan, and he speculates the accusations arose from what he calls Farrow’s “Ahab-like quest” for revenge. He was never charged after two investigations in the 1990s. Dylan has maintained in recent years she was abused and her allegations were embraced in the #MeToo era.

The initial announcement of “Apropos of Nothing” came earlier this month, when Grand Central Publishing confirmed it would release his book April 7. Ronan Farrow, who shared the Pulitzer Prize with the New York Times for his New Yorker investigation into Harvey Weinstein, was enraged to learn that Allen’s book was being published by the same parent company, Hachette Book Group. that released his “Catch and Kill.”

Hachette canceled the release less than a week later, although Stephen King was among those questioning the decision, writing on Twitter: “It’s who gets muzzled next that worries me.”

In a postscript to the Arcade edition, Allen alleges that Hachette had vowed to publish “Apropos of Nothing” despite his “being a toxic pariah and menace to society.” But, he writes, “When actual flak did arrive they thoughtfully reassessed their position” and ”dumped the book like it was a hunk of Xenon 135.”

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