Giancarlo DiTrapano, Defiantly Independent Book Publisher, Dies at 47

In 2016, Mr. DiTrapano edited “Cherry,” an autobiographical novel by Nico Walker, which was adapted into a movie starring Tom Holland, released this year. “Cherry” tells the story of a traumatized Iraq combat medic who develops a heroin addiction and starts robbing banks after his return to civilian life. Mr. Walker worked with Mr. DiTrapano while in prison, communicating via email on a computer that cost a nickel a minute to use. Sensing that the project might soar with the resources of a bigger house, Mr. DiTrapano sold the rights to Knopf, which published “Cherry” in 2018.

“Gian wanted people who had something to say, and he was good at finding those people,” Mr. Walker said in a phone interview. “He was interested in the writer beyond the book. He wanted writers with a story. Who had perspective. And he gravitated to outsiders.”

In 2018, Mr. DiTrapano published Megan Boyle’s “Liveblog,” a 707-page experimental memoir based on the author’s intent to document “everything i do, think, feel, and say.” In 2017 he released Darcie Wilder’s “literally show me a healthy person,” a Twitter-influenced short novel.

“The biggest effect on today’s writing, on young writers, is the internet — what else is going to happen that’s going to have an effect on us like that?” Mr. DiTrapano said in an interview with the British magazine Dazed in 2014. “We’re too far inside to even think about not being there anymore.”

A scruffy bon vivant, Mr. DiTrapano caroused with the myth of rowdy literary New York. When he was courting a writer he liked, he might take the person out for drinks at his favorite haunt, KGB Bar in the East Village. Late and blurry nights with his authors at Tyrant headquarters — the operation was based in his book-cluttered studio apartment on West 46th Street before he moved to Rome in 2016 — constituted his office hours.

Michael Bible wrote in the Los Angeles Review of Books that when he visited Tyrant in 2013, Mr. DiTrapano greeted him with a silver tray of Xanax, whiskey and cocaine. The next morning, Mr. Bible said, he texted Mr. DiTrapano: “How did I get home last night?” He then discovered a fresh unopened pack of his favorite brand of cigarette in his pants pocket.




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