Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky has signed with International Creative Management, according to sources at that New York-based talent agency, and he is close to signing a major book contract, probably with Random House.
Marvin Josephson, who heads ICM and is active in various Zionist organizations, is reportedly handling Shcharansky's negotiations personally. Josephson met with Shcharansky in Israel this past weekend. He was in transit late yesterday and could not be reached for comment. Sources at ICM said the only other client Josephson handles personally is former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.
Shcharansky, a mathematician and human rights activist who was jailed for nine years in Soviet labor camps and prisons until his dramatic release at the Glienicke Bridge in Berlin in February, has been deluged with offers from publishers, journalists, biographers and movie producers. He is scheduled to visit the United States next month.
The players at Random House are reportedly its president, Robert Bernstein, who has accompanied Josephson to Israel, and Peter Osnos, a former Washington Post editor and reporter who knew Shcharansky when Osnos was Moscow bureau chief in the mid-'70s. Random House publishes a number of Soviet dissidents.
British historian Martin Gilbert, who has written extensively on Soviet Jewry, will publish an authorized biography of Shcharansky with Viking Penguin. A portion of the proceeds from Gilbert's book are to go to a fund for the Shcharansky family, which is still trying to leave the Soviet Union. Sources said that any book contract for an autobiography will probably dictate that a major portion of the money go to organizations to help other Soviet Jews.