The publishing world is all abuzz: Simon & Schuster's publicist Jonathan Karp poached John Irving from Random House and signed a two-book deal.

S&S will be releasing best-selling author Irving's much-anticipated next novel, In One Person, in June 2012, with another book planned for 2015. In One Person claims its title from Shakespeare's Richard II and is Irving's first return to first-person narrative since A Prayer for Owen Meany (Morrow). It explores the life of a 60-year-old bisexual man.

Karp joined Simon & Schuster about a year ago, after first working at Random House for 16 years and later leading Twelve, an imprint of the Hachette Book Group, for 5 years. Twelve was founded on the successful concept of publishing one quality book each month, and the first 30 books from Twelve became New York Times best-sellers.

Irving also has a long history with Random House, which has published 8 of his 12 previous books. Irving briefly coupled with William Morrow and Dutton in the 70's and 80's, but Random House has been Irving's publisher ever since.

Are you looking forward to Irving's next book?

How do you feel about the acquisition?

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