Helen Brann, whose self-named literary agency represents such high-octane clients as Robert B. Parker and Stephen Sondheim, has completed a succession arrangement with ICM Partners that will eventually bring her writers into the ICM fold, the companies today announced jointly.
“Although at 82, I have no plans to retire from this job I love,” Brann said of the move, “I thought it important to put a plan in place to ensure the future success of my clients.” The choice of ICM, she said, is the natural conclusion of a longterm connection with that agency’s Esther Newberg, whose client Ace Atkins was signed to take over Parker’s iconic “Spenser” series.
“Esther and her team at ICM became the apparent choice to work alongside me in this process,” Brann said. “Esther won me over as a straight-talking, highly intelligent, humorous writers’ advocate in all matters.”
Brann began her career in 1968 working with Sterling Lord before taking 60 clients and in 1973 and becoming the first woman in the U.S. to start her own independent literary agency representing book writers. She joined forces with another legendary powerhouse, Flora Roberts, whose clients included Broadway composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim.
Names on the Brann client roster include Edmund White and Diane Johnson, Fran Lebowitz, Nora Johnson, Dan Yergin, Dan Wakefield, Rod McKuen, Richard Brautigan, and later, Robert B. Parker and Maya Angelou. The film adaptation of her client Gerald Clarke’s biography Capote was an Oscar nominee for best picture. Parker’s Spenser character was adapted to television in the ABC series Spenser For Hire and on A&E in the movies Small Vices, Thin Air and Walking Shadow.
“Helen is smart, has great agenting skills and is a pro,” Newberg said. “I am a fan of her clients’ work, and everyone on our team is excited to work with Helen.”