Jul 9, 2018
Pierre Astier and Laure Pecher are co-founders of their own eponymous literary and film agency. Pierre represents mainly French-speaking authors and publishers. After working in the art world for ten years, he created the quarterly short stories magazine Le Serpent à Plumes in 1988. In 1993, together with Claude Tarrène, he set up a publishing house of the same name focusing on contemporary fiction. Laure represents both authors and publishers. After having studied Byzantine philology, she worked for five years at Le Serpent à Plumes as rights manager. In 2002, she started publishing classics with Les Classiques du Monde at Editions Zoé (Geneva).
The three of us met in their garden in Le Perche, France where we talked about, among other things, the role of the literary agent, writers festivals and conferences, finding the best most passionate publishers, Archipelago Books and Ove Knausgaard, Elena Ferrante, African authors in France, paradise near Paris, commissioning books, writing workshops, espresso, differences between French and American agents, Eastern European markets, the invasion of American authors, lack of diversity, resistance by French publishers to agents, film rights, musical chairs, translation, author-agent relations, differences between pitching publishers and producers, Andrew Wylie's client list, Aslı Erdoğan, passion and luck, Patrice Nganang, and the most exciting part of the job.