Max Perkins, Editor of Genius

Max Perkins, Editor of Genius

Book - 1978
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This "highly readable work of literary history" (New York Times Book Review) is the first to explore the professional and personal life of editor extraordinaire Maxwell Petkins -- guiding light for such stellar literary figures as E Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and many more. Meticulously researched, surprisingly revealing, and highly praised by critics, it earned the National Book Award for Biography -- a testament not only to its impeccable scholarship but to its extraordinarily accessible prose. Packed with anecdotes from the age of giants, this unique work will not only inspire writers, editors, and book lovers, but anyone interested in learning more about the genius behind the scenes, who "turns out to be as fascinating, dark, complex, and sad as any of his golden boys" (Russell Baker). Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.
Publisher: New York : Dutton, c1978
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780525154273
Characteristics: viii, 498 p., [8] leaves of plates : ill. ; 24 cm


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Sep 20, 2017

This is a big read. Sit with a good light on the pages as the print in the paperback edition is small. I loved this book. I will firstly say it is well written, and I make this comment because too often books are not well written.

The story of this wonderful editor is so interesting, and he is fleshed out as a character. The story of his authors is fascinating, every one of them being given enough space for us readers to imagine them well. There is a third aspect to the biography, and that is how an editor works. The book opens with Max Perkins addressing a room full of editing students, hanging on his every word. I very much doubt that many editors have the backing to be all things to a writer as Perkins was.

Oct 28, 2015

Editor Maxwell Perkins often appears as a side character in biographies of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe. In this biography he is finally the main character in the story. The most fascinating parts of this book are about the intense relationships Perkins had with all of his writers. It is interesting to read how insecure some of these luminary authors could be about their writing, and the lengths Perkins went to in order to get them to be productive. It is impressive how many authors Perkins worked with, and how respected and beloved he was as an editor. This book is a comprehensive look at the career of the most influential editor of the twentieth century.


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