Life and career
Wilson was born in New York City and grew up on Martha's Vineyard. She attended Goddard College and New York's New School for Social Research. She began working at Alfred A. Knopf Publishers in 1972, and she was promoted in 1988 to Senior Editor, Vice President, and Associate Publisher. Authors she edits include Lorrie Moore, Alice Adams, William Gass, Meryle Secrest and Anne Rice.
She also held several positions at the PEN American Center, including the Executive board and Treasurer from 1997 to 1999. She also served as Vice President of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. She taught in the writing program at Columbia University from 1992 to 1993.
Wilson was appointed by Bill Clinton to the USCCR vacancy left by the 1998 death of A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Wilson voted in support of a USCCR report which found voting irregularities in Florida during the United States presidential election, 2000. Once in office, President George W. Bush attempted to replace Wilson with Peter Kirsanow, but USCCR Commissioner Mary Frances Berry refused Krisanow a seat. Kirsanow sued, claiming Wilson's tenure had expired and he had been validly appointed. Wilson won in federal district court but ultimately lost on appeal in 2002, and the court ordered the seating of Kirsanow following a lengthy legal battle.
Wilson is a stepdaughter of Stella Adler and has announced her plans to write a biography of Barbara Stanwyck. Her father, physicist Mitchell Wilson, was a novelist who had a book adapted by Jean Renoir into Woman on the Beach. Her mother Helen was a patients' rights advocate. Her restored home was featured in the New York Times.
- Rosin, Hanna (Dec 7, 2001). Bush Swears In Disputed Choice For Rights Panel. Washington Post
- Washington, Wayne (March 10, 2001). US rights panel says blacks faced discrimination at polls in Florida. Boston Globe
- Goldstein, Andrew (February 9, 2002). Can the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Be Saved? Time
- Blomquist, Brian (November 19, 2002). Bush finally wins in civil-rights fight. New York Post
- Staff report (February 27, 1973). Mitchell Wilson, Science Writer And Popular Novelist, Dies at 59; Joined Industry in 1941. New York Times
- Van Gelder, Lawrence (January 17, 1996). Helen Wilson, 82, Advocate for Rights Of Hospital Patients. New York Times
- Medwick, Cathleen (October 27, 2006). Visions and Revisions: An Editor’s Dream. New York Times
- Voting Irregularities in Florida During the 2000 Presidential Election: Statement of Commissioner Victoria Wilson via United States Commission on Civil Rights