It’s been an exciting year for Print. The magazine took home a National Magazine Award for general excellence and a Magazine of the Year silver medal from the Society of Publication Designers. Now it has a new editor-in-chief. Former managing editor and Emdashes founder Emily Gordon (pictured at right) has replaced Joyce Rutter Kaye in Print‘s top editorial post, and amidst the whirl of new responsibilities, she made time to tell us about her plans for the magazine, which is “just a few years younger than John McCain and a heck of a lot hipper,” and how her path to Print was paved by an eccentric Victorian-era literary superstar.
1. What led you to Print?
A keenly eccentric Victorian named Mrs. Favell Lee Mortimer led me to Print. The magazine’s then-managing editor, Todd Pruzan, published a piece in 2005 in The New Yorker about Mortimer’s bestselling 1850s-era travel books, and the paradoxically provincial life that went along with them. (One of my favorite details is that she washed her pet parrot with soap and water, and tried to teach her donkey to swim in the ocean.)
I was so dazzled by Todd’s writing and his story of being so irresistibly drawn to a vintage book that he ended up scouring a British graveyard for the author’s headstone, and eventually republishing bits of her books into an anthology, that I wrote a post on Emdashes—a blog about The New Yorker I’ve done for nearly four years—raving about it. Todd and I began corresponding, and he sent me some issues of Print. I was struck by the gorgeous layout and the excellent writing and criticism—and by the fact that I, a hopeless magazine addict, had never read it before. Eventually, I contributed a review of the Complete New Yorker DVDs. The following year, my editor Jeremy Lehrer left the magazine to freelance, and I was hired to replace him as senior editor. Shortly thereafter, Todd went off to other things, and I became managing editor.
Read on for Emily’s plans for the magazine and why Print (and print) is alive and well, both on paper and online.