Scottish writer and novelist Andrew O'Hagan has signed on to ghostwrite a forthcoming book by Julian Assange. O'Hagan, who will be appearing at the Wheeler Centre on a forthcoming tour of Australia, is a widely-awarded Scottish writer of novels as well as a regular contributor to the London Review of Books. The ghostly Australian founder of WikiLeaks is reported to have been paid more than US$1 million for his memoirs.
In a backgrounder on ghostwriting, Robert McCrum writes that many ghostwriters are being paid 10% of a book’s takings in the current depressed climate of UK publishing. A ghostwriter of O'Hagan’s pedigree, can expect to fetch something closer to 35%. “The ghost, who starts out as a hybrid of therapist, muse and friend, enters a psychological minefield,” writes McCrum. “In France, ghosts are known as nègres, and there is a kind of slavery implicit in this transaction.”
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