from The Center for Fiction accessed 6/27/13
In 2005 the Center for Fiction established the Maxwell E. Perkins Award to honor the work of an editor, publisher, or agent who over the course of his or her career has discovered, nurtured and championed writers of fiction in the United States. This award is dedicated to Maxwell Perkins in celebration of his legacy as one of the country’s most import editors.
Robin Desser has worked at the Knopf Publishing Group since 1998 and this year was named Vice President, Editorial Director of Alfred A. Knopf.
Among the critically acclaimed and bestselling books and authors with whom she has worked, first at Vintage, where she served for eight years, and then at Knopf, are many notable debuts: Lorraine Adams’s Harbor; Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street; Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory; Mary Gaitskill’s Bad Behavior; Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha; Amy Greene’s Bloodroot; David Guterson’s Snow Falling on Cedars; Nam Le’s The Boat; Daniel Mason’s The Piano Tuner; and Esmeralda Santiago’s When I Was Puerto Rican.
Other celebrated works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry she has edited include: Aravind Adiga’s Last Man in Tower; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah; A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book; Anne Carson’s The Beauty of the Husband and Red Doc>; Kiran Desai’s The Loneliness of Sonia and Sunny (forthcoming); Rita Dove’s Selected Poems and the novel Through the Ivory Gate; Nell Freudenberger’s The Newlyweds; Jonathan Galassi’s Left-handed; The Journals of Spalding Gray, edited by Nell Casey; Manuela Hoelterhoff’s Cinderella & Company; Alan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child; Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted; Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth and The Lowland (forthcoming); Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies; Barry Lopez’s About this Life; Daniel Mendelsohn’s The Elusive Embrace and his translation of Cavafy’s Complete Poems; Francesca Marciano’s Rules of the Wild and The Other Language (forthcoming); Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s graphic memoir Cancer Vixen; Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children and The Woman Upstairs; Steven Millhauser’s We Others: New and Selected Stories; James Salter’s Last Night and All That Is; Kyung-sook Shin’s Please Look After Mom; Tracy K. Smith’s Ordinary Light (forthcoming); Jane Smiley’s Horse Heaven and subsequent novels; Jan Swafford’s Brahms: A Biography; Cheryl Strayed’s Wild; and Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone.
Deborah Treisman became Fiction Editor of The New Yorker in 2003, after serving for five years as the magazine’s Deputy Fiction Editor. At The New Yorker, she has edited work by, among others, Julian Barnes, T. C. Boyle, Edwidge Danticat, E. L. Doctorow, Jennifer Egan, Louise Erdrich, Jonathan Franzen, Mary Gaitskill, Ian McEwan, Thomas McGuane, Steven Millhauser, Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, Haruki Murakami, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, George Saunders, David Foster Wallace, and Tobias Wolff, as well as introducing to the magazine such writers as Daniel Alarcón, Jonathan Safran Foer, Tessa Hadley, Aleksandar Hemon, Nicole Krauss, Colum McCann, C. E. Morgan, and Colm Tóibín.
Previously, she was the managing editor of Grand Street, and has been a member of the editorial staffs of The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, and The Threepenny Review. Her translations of Francophone writers, including Patrick Chamoiseau, Marguerite Duras, and Tahar Ben Jelloun, have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and Grand Street. She is the host of the award-winning New Yorker Fiction Podcast, the editor of the anthology 20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker (Farrar, Straus, 2010), and a Chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Ms. Treisman was born in Oxford, England, and attended the University of California at Berkeley. She lives with her husband and two daughters in New York City.
Nan Graham received her B.A. in English from Yale University in 1977 and an honorary doctorate from Marymount Manhattan College in 1997. She has worked in publishing since 1980—for five years at Pantheon Books and for ten years at Viking Penguin where she was the Executive Editor. Since 1994, she has been the Editor-in-Chief of Scribner.
Nan has edited writers of fiction, memoir, sociology, history and psychology – and many of their books have won National Book Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, and other major awards. She has worked on many memoirs, including Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club, Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle, Alexandra Styron’s Reading My Father, and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Living History. Other non-fiction includes Andrew Solomon’s National Book Award winner, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression and Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize winner, The Emperor of All Maladies: a Biography of Cancer.
She has published Don Delillo for over twenty years, and brought him to Scribner with his 1997 novel Underworld. She has developed long-time relationships with acclaimed authors such as Annie Proulx, Amy Hempel, Ann Beattie, Kate Walbert and Colm Toibin, and introduced new writers such as Monica Ali, Dana Spiotta, Anthony Doerr, Rachel Kushner, Belinda McKeon, and Miranda July. She has worked with Stephen King for fifteen years.
Nan is on the board of the International Freedom to Publish Committee, where she served as Chair from 1998 through 2004, and is on the board of the New School Writing Program. She and the novelist Mark Costello have two children.
Amanda Urban joined ICM as a literary agent in 1980, and was named Co-Director of the Literary Department in 1988. She simultaneously served as Managing Director of ICM Books in London from 2002 to 2008, and is currently an ICM Executive Vice President. Prior to joining ICM, she was General Manager of New York Magazine and The Village Voice, and Editorial Manager of Esquire Magazine. She represents Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors such as Dexter Filkins, Richard Ford, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Cormac McCarthy, Jon Meacham, Steven Millhauser, Toni Morrison, Anna Quindlen, and James B. Stewart, in addition to numerous bestselling authors, such as Eric Anderson, Marie Brenner, Dominique Browning, Peter Carey, Ellen Chesler, Jonathan Dee, E. L. Doctorow, Bruce Duffy, Nora Ephron, Nell Freudenberger, Tad Friend, Alan Furst, Francisco Goldman, Jane Hamilton, Kathryn Harrison, Zoe Heller, Michael Idov, Walter Isaacson, Kazuo Ishiguro, Joseph Kanon, Mary Karr, Chip Kidd, Christopher Krovatin, Chang-rae Lee, Mark Leyner, Bobbie Ann Mason, Jay McInerney, Haruki Murakami, Marisha Pessl, Michael Pollan, James Salter, Orville Schell, John Burnham Schwartz, Mona Simpson, Michael Specter, Donna Tartt, Steven Weisman, Edmund White, Tobias Wolff and Koren Zailckas. A number of her books have spawned movies, including the recent Oscar-winning films No Country for Old Men and Crazy Heart, as well as plays such as The Elephant Vanishes and “Sunset Limited, and musicals such as Ragtime.
Gerry Howard, Vice President, Executive Editor, Doubleday. Gerry has been with Doubleday since 1998. In his tenure at Doubleday, he has worked with Kate Christensen, Walter Kirn, Chuck Palahniuk, Bill Bryson, and Gore Vidal. In his long career, Howard has also edited such eminent authors as David Foster Wallace, Gordon Lish, Larry Heinemann, Irvine Welsh, Don Delillo, Rafi Zabor, James Welch, Leon Forest, Ana Castillo, William S. Burroughs, A.R. Ammons, Walter Mosley and William Kennedy. In 2001, Gerry received the PEN/Roger Klein Award for Editing.
Jonathan Galassi became an editor in the trade division of Houghton Mifflin Company in 1973. He was a senior editor at Random House from 1981 to 1986, when he joined Farrar, Straus and Giroux as vice-president and executive editor. He was named editor-in-chief of FSG in 1988, executive vice-president in 1993, publisher in 1999, and president of the firm in January 2002.
Among the authors Mr. Galassi has worked with at FSG are: Michael Cunningham, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen, Ian Frazier, Thomas L. Friedman, Nadine Gordimer, David Grossman, Shirley Hazzard, Seamus Heaney, Jamaica Kincaid, William Langeweische, Alice McDermott, John McPhee, Louis Menand, Marilynne Robinson, George Packer, Robert Pinsky, Susan Sontag, Calvin Trillin, Mario Vargas Llosa, Scott Turow, Derek Walcott, C. K. Williams, Tom Wolfe, and Charles Wright. Mr. Galassi won the P.E.N./Roger Klein Award for Editing in 1984 and the LMP Editor’s Award in 1990
Mr. Galassi has published two books of poems: Morning Run (Paris Review Editions, 1988) and North Street (HarperCollins, 2000). He has also translated several volumes of the work of the Italian poet Eugenio Montale and was poetry editor of The Paris Review between 1978 and 1987. He has also won the John Ciardi Award in Poetry from the Italian American Foundation (1999), the Premio Montale for translation (1999), and the Weidenfeld Translation Prize (1999). Mr. Galassi was president of the Academy of American Poets from 1994 to 1999.
Drenka Willen joined Harcourt as a translator and freelance editor in the nineteen-sixties. She took over day-to-day duties for the Helen & Kurt Wolff imprint in 1981. She is currently a Senior Editor. Among the authors and translators she has worked with are Günter Grass, Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Stanislaw Lem, Octavio Paz, Wisława Szymborska, José Saramago, Irving Howe, Ryszard Kapuściński, Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, Yehuda Amichai, Edward Gorey, Wendy Wasserstein, George Konrád, Charles Simic, Bohumil Hrabal, Cees Nooteboom, Breyten Breytenbach, James Kelman, Paul Klebnikov, Milovan Djilas, Tomaž Šalamun, Danilo Kiš, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Antonio Muñoz Molina, David Albahari, Andrew Miller, Claire Messud, Andrew O’Hagan, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Ralph Manheim, William Weaver, Edith Grossman, Margaret Jull Costa, Krishna Winston, Clare Cavanagh, Stanisław Barańczak, and Geoffrey Brock. Their honors include the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, Poet Laureate of the United States, the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the E.M.Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Booker Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the International IMPAC Award, and the PEN Translation Prize
Gary Fisketjon served from 1980 to 1986 as an editor at Random House and Vintage Books, from 1986 to 1990 as Editorial Director of the Atlantic Monthly Press, and since then as Editor-at-Large and Vice President of Alfred A. Knopf Publishers. Among the writers he has worked with are Julian Barnes, Peter Carey, Raymond Carver, Annie Dillard, Michael Doane, Andre Dubus, Bret Easton Ellis, Richard Ford, David Gates, Martha Gellhorn, Kent Haruf, Patricia Highsmith, Margot Livesey, Cormac McCarthy, Jay McInerney, Haruki Murakami, Redmond O’Hanlon, Mona Simpson, Graham Swift, Donna Tartt, Rupert Thomson, Joy Williams, Jeanette Winterson, Geoffrey Wolff, and Tobias Wolff. Their honors include the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Books Critics Award, the Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Award.
Nan A. Talese is a Senior Vice President of Doubleday and the Publisher and Editorial Director of Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, a trade book publishing imprint known for its literary excellence. She began her publishing career at Random House, where she published Papa Hemingway by A.E. Hotchner and The Savage God by A. Alvarez, a book that changed America 's understanding of suicide. After joining Simon & Schuster she began her long editorial relationship with Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan, Barry Unsworth and Thomas Keneally, all winners of the prestigious Booker Prize.
It was at Houghton Mifflin, which she joined in 1981 as Executive Editor, eventually becoming Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, that she began her association with Pat Conroy as editor of his novel The Prince of Tides. She joined Doubleday as a Senior Vice President in 1988, and two years later introduced her author-oriented imprint dedicated to the publication of a select list of quality fiction and nonfiction. The critically acclaimed and bestselling titles she has published since the imprint's inception include There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz; Beach Music and My Losing Season by Pat Conroy; Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood; Amsterdam, Atonement, and Saturday by Ian McEwan; How the Irish Saved Civilization, The Gifts of the Jews, Desire of the Everlasting Hills and Sailing the Wine Dark Sea by Thomas Cahill; Songs of the Kings by Barry Unsworth; Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser; Shakespeare: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd as well as the works of George Plimpton, Mark Richard, Robert MacNeil, Peter Ackroyd, Kevin Canty, Jennifer Egan and Adam Haslett among others.