Woody Allen’s memoir Apropos of Nothing, which was dropped by publisher Hachette Book Group earlier this month following controversy and an employee walkout, got a surprise release on Monday thanks to a new publisher, the Associated Press reports. Skyhorse Publishing’s Arcade imprint, whose catalog includes Samuel Beckett, Octavio Paz, JFK conspiracy theorist Jim Garrison, and Alan Dershowitz, published Allen’s 400-page book with virtually no advance notice.
Arcade co-founder Jeannette Seaver said in a statement: “In this strange time, when truth is too often dismissed as ‘fake news,’ we as publishers prefer to give voice to a respected artist, rather than bow to those determined to silence him.”
Just a few weeks ago, Hachette Book Group announced plans to release Apropos of Nothing in April, sparking outrage because Allen has been publicly accused by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, of sexually abusing her as a child. Allen has denied the accusations. Among Hachette’s most outspoken critics was Allen’s son, journalist Ronan Farrow, whose bestselling book Catch and Kill was published last year by Little, Brown, a division of Hachette Book Group. Farrow cut ties with the company over its plans to publish his father’s memoir, claiming it demonstrated “a lack of ethics and compassion for victims of sexual abuse.”
Hachette ultimately dropped the book after a group of employees protested, walking out of the company’s New York City headquarters “in support of Ronan and Dylan Farrow and all survivors of sexual assault.”
Arcade’s announcement describes Apropos of Nothing as “a candid and comprehensive personal account by Woody Allen of his life, 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.” According to AP, the memoir opens with Allen recalling his upbringing in New York City and the early days of his career before moving on to discuss his marriage to the actress Mia Farrow. It also details the beginnings of Allen’s romantic relationship with Farrow’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, more than 30 years his junior.
Allen’s book reportedly addresses the accusations that caused Hachette employees to protest its publication, writing that “I never laid a finger on Dylan, never did anything to her that could be even misconstrued as abusing her; it was a total fabrication from start to finish,” he writes. In a postscript to the new edition, Allen comments on his publishing fiasco, claiming that Hachette had vowed to publish Apropos of Nothing despite his “being a toxic pariah and menace to society” but that “when actual flak did arrive they thoughtfully reassessed their position” and “dumped the book like it was a hunk of Xenon 135.”