The original author is dead, but "The Godfather" is back. With the blessing of Mario Puzo's estate, Random House has chosen a new author to pen a sequel to Puzo's blockbuster 1969 novel about the Corleone organized crime family.
Last fall, Random House launched a contest to find Puzo's successor, e-mailing literary agents in search of an author "with two acclaimed literary novels to his credit, who writes in a commanding and darkly comic omniscient voice."
The winner was scheduled to be announced this morning on NBC's "Today" show. The contest drew about 40 serious submissions, with authors outlining story plots -- and a few spoofs. Puzo, who died in 1999, helped write two screenplay sequels to his original novel, but he never produced a follow-up book. His estate, which was reportedly paid several million dollars for the rights to publish a sequel, helped choose the winner.