Daniel Menaker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Daniel Menaker
Robert Daniel Menaker

(1941-09-17)September 17, 1941
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
DiedOctober 26, 2020(2020-10-26) (aged 79)
EducationSwarthmore College
Johns Hopkins University
  • Author
  • editor
Katherine Bouton
(m. 1980)

Robert Daniel Menaker (September 17, 1941 – October 26, 2020) was an American fiction writer and editor.[1] He worked with the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton and as a consultant for Barnes & Noble Bookstores.

Personal life[edit]

Menaker was born in Manhattan to Robert Menaker — son of a Russian Jewish immigrant — and Mary R. Grace, who was the chief copy editor at Fortune magazine.[2] He attended Little Red School House in Greenwich Village and Nyack High School in Rockland County, New York, studied philosophy and poetry at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, and obtained a master's degree in English from Johns Hopkins University.[2] Menaker's father was a communist who was additionally alleged to be a Soviet intelligence agent, and Menaker described himself as an anarcho-syndicalist.[2]

Menaker married Katherine Bouton in 1980.[2] They had two children: a daughter, Elizabeth, and a son, Will, who is a co-host of the podcast Chapo Trap House.[3]

Menaker died from pancreatic cancer on October 26, 2020, at his home in New Marlborough, Massachusetts.[2]


Menaker was a fiction editor at The New Yorker for twenty years and had material published in the magazine frequently. In 1995 he was hired by Harold Evans as Senior Literary Editor at Random House and later became Executive Editor-in-Chief, working with such writers as Salman Rushdie, Colum McCann, Elizabeth Strout, and Nassim Taleb. After leaving Random House in 2007, he became the host for a web-based book show called "Titlepage"[4] in 2008.


  • PEN/O. Henry Award for Short Fiction: "The Good Left" 1984
  • PEN/O. Henry Award for Short Fiction: "The Good Left" 1982
  • New York Times Notable Book: "The Treatment" 1998


  • "The African Svelte: Ingenious Misspellings that Make Surprising Sense" - 2016
  • "The Committee: The Story of the 1976 Union Drive at the New Yorker Magazine" - (article, audiobook) 2015
  • "My Mistake: A Memoir" - 2013
  • "A Good Talk: The Story and Skill of Conversation" - 2011
  • "The Treatment" - 1998
  • "The Old Left and Other Stories" - 1987
  • "The Worst" (with Charles McGrath) - 1979
  • "Friends and Relations: A Collection of Stories" - 1976


  1. ^ Lippman, Gary (January 21, 2014). "That's Material: An Interview with Daniel Menaker". Paris Review Daily. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Roberts, Sam (October 27, 2020). "Daniel Menaker, Book Editor Who Wrote With Wit, Dies at 79". The New York Times. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  3. ^ Tolentino, Jia (November 18, 2016). "What Will Become of the Dirtbag Left?". The New Yorker.
  4. ^ Rich, Motoko (January 30, 2008). "New Literary Program to Make Its Home Online (Published 2008)". The New York Times.

External links[edit]