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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Tanenhaus’

Pamela Paul Named New Editor of NYT Book Review Editor

The New York Times has picked Pamela Paul to serve as the new editor of the Book Review section, replacing Sam Tanenhaus at the post.

If you want to know more about the new editor, you can follow Paul on Twitter. Huffington Post senior media reporter Michael Calderone broke the news, reprinting the full staff memo. Here’s an excerpt:

It’s now Pamela’s turn to take the Book Review in new directions. Her versatility as an editor and writer has strengthened the Book Review and many other sections, including the Magazine, Education Life and Sunday Styles, where she originated the biweekly “Studied” column. Her weekly Q. and A. with authors, “By the Book,” has been a wonderful new addition to the Review, and she has assigned a galaxy of great writers including Martin Amis, Colson Whitehead and Meg Wolitzer, among others. Pamela has also written for The Atlantic, Time, Vogue and The Economist, and she is the author of three books.

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Behind the Scenes at the NYT Book Review

9780743578196.jpgAs you shuffle home from a long day surfing the literary Internets, here are a few publishing links to ponder…

NY Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus interviewed at Oxford American: “The most unexpected dimension of my job has been the online component.”

Jezebel takes a look at a cute moment between author Sarah Vowell and Jon Stewart.

Having a hard time balancing your day-job and writing life? The Millions has a heartfelt essay about the struggle.

Finally, a NSFW Electric Literature video animates a single sentence by Diana Wagman.

BEA Day Two: Ethics in Book Reviewing

Immediately after moderating the blog panel, Bud Parr took out his video camera and taped the panel proceedings, which he’s edited into the above highlight show. And considering the star wattage assembled for the panel, highlights abounded.

Moderator and Philly Inquirer book critic Carlin Romano began by rattling off all 37 questions asked as part of the National Book Critics Circle‘s revised survey on book reviewing ethics, commenting with tongue in cheek that the only question all 356 responders agreed on was that they were NBCC members. Then each panelist spoke for about five minutes or so on the nature of ethics and starting with Christopher Hitchens, the consensus was that if it’s not okay to review a friend’s work, it shouldn’t necessarily be taboo, either. “Who knows a writer’s body of work better,” said former NYTBR editor John Leonard of what he termed a “friend of a mind”, adding that such questions are “small potatoes compared to the corruption of a culture at large.”

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A Further Look Inside the NYTBR

The Queens College Knightly News‘ Literary Editor, Michael Orbach, recently spent a day at the New York Times’ Book Review Offices, interviewing editor-in-chief Sam Tanenhaus as well as editors Dwight Garner & Rachel Donadio and frequent contributor Liesl Schillinger. Much of the information isn’t new (the fiction/non-fiction disparity; how books are chosen; favorite authors) and the inevitable litblog question is asked of everyone (Donadio kindly namechecks GalleyCat as a resource “to guide me to interesting stories in the world press that I might otherwise have missed”; all but Tanenhaus, who somehow manages to know exactly what blogs are saying about the TBR without reading them – a remarkable feat of psychic ability or hypocrisy, depending on your standpoint – say they check in anywhere from occasionally to once or twice a week) but Orbach does manage to get Tanenhaus to speak of how the Book Review functions within a working newspaper:

Remember, we’re folded inside a big newspaper, or people go to the homepage, the webpage, and find us, so we’re a small slice within the newspaper. That’s a lot of what our role is: in a sense, to cover books, in addition to what the daily newspaper does; our writers have more room, somewhat more time, but that’s all it is, to give a snapshot of the literary world on any given moment.

Ron adds: Tanenhaus may be drawing the heat for his remarks about the blogosphere, but I thought it was Garner who laid out his viewpoint most concisely: “A lot of the stuff that’s out there is almost comically vicious; it’s sort of a race to the bottom, to see who can belch out the ugliest possible thing in the grossest possible way.” (Of course, when pressed on the matter, some would say that they were being satirical.) What interested me, though, were the insights into the interviewee’s literary perspectives, like Schillinger’s efforts to read books for fun on the side, or Donadio’s admiration for South African literature now that, in her view, “Europe is over, its intellectual class engaged with the past.” If there’s any money left in the travel budget, I for one would love to hear what she has to say about the scene in India