Robert Weil (editor)

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Robert Weil is the Editor-in-Chief and Publishing Director of the publishing imprint W.W. Norton / Liveright.[1] Over the course of his career, “Weil has published seven National Book Award winners and three National Book Award finalists. He's published sixteen Pulitzer Prize winners (Michael Dirda, N. Scott Momaday, and Tina Rosenberg among them); seven Bancroft history prize winners; [and] seven MacArthur fellowship winners.”[2] In 2017, he was awarded the fourth annual Bio Editorial Excellence Award.[3]

Weil graduated from Yale College with a B.A. in History in 1977 and originally considered teaching high school before beginning his publishing career with Times Books in 1978 as an Editorial Assistant.[4] Two and a half years later he moved to the former Omni Magazine. With Omni Magazine he introduced a book division and packaged and agented science books to publishers before becoming Senior Editor at St. Martin's Press in 1988, a division of Macmillan Publishers.[5] Weil's acquisitions ran the gamut and he had many notable commissions: Michael Wallis's bestselling Route 66 (which helped launch a national road movement), Henry Roth’s tetralogy of novels called The Mercy of a Rude Stream, Oliver Stone’s autobiographical novel, A Child’s Night Dream, and John Bayley’s Elegy for Iris (a New York Times bestseller as well as an Academy-Award winning film starring Judi Dench).[6]

In 1998, Weil moved to W.W. Norton & Company as an Executive Editor [7] and his authors in non-fiction have included Annette Gordon-Reed (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), George F. Kennan, Philip Glass, Danielle Allen, E. O. Wilson, Jill Lepore, Richard Rothstein, David Levering Lewis, Mary Beard, Amartya Sen, Jan Morris, Ruth Franklin (winner of the NBCC Award in Biography), Martin Gardner, Peter Gay, Nadine Gordimer, Patricia Bosworth, Edmund Morgan (historian), Pete Buttigieg, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Freeman Dyson, Anthony Appiah, James Poniewozik, and Frank B. Wilderson III. His authors in fiction, poetry, and translation have included Larry McMurty, Primo Levi, J. G. Ballard, Patricia Highsmith, Jerome Charyn, Isaac Babel, Paul McCartney, John Ashbery, and Simon Armitage; while his graphic authors have included Will Eisner, Robert Crumb, David Small (National Book Award Finalist), and Jules Feiffer. His acquisition of most of the Patricia Highsmith backlist, which included several new volumes, in 1999, helped launch the Highsmith renaissance in the U.S. and the 2015 film Carol starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, based on the novel The Price of Salt, as well as Highsmith's diaries, which will be published in 2021.

In 2011, Weil was named the Editor-in-Chief and Publishing Director of Liveright Publishing Corporation.[8] Books published by Weil for the Liveright list include: Edward Sorel's Mary Astor's Purple Diary, S. Jonathan Bass’s He Calls Me By Lightning, Jack Davis's The Gulf, Jim Holt’s Why Does the World Exist, George Orwell’s Diaries, Max Boot's Invisible Armies, Jules Feiffer's Kill My Mother, Harvey Sachs' Toscanini, SPQR by Mary Beard, The Complete Works of Primo Levi (for which Weil won the Centaur Award in 2015), and "Most Blessed of the Patriarchs" by Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf (all of which were reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Book Review), as well as Les Payne and Tamara Payne's The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X[9] (winner of the National Book Award for Nonfiction), Gail Collins’ As Texas Goes, E. O. Wilson’s The Social Conquest of Earth and The Meaning of Existence (National Book Award Finalist), Michael Gorra's Portrait of a Novel (Pulitzer finalist), and Allan Gurganus’ Local Souls and forthcoming work The Uncollected Stories of Allan Gurganus. The current staff of Liveright includes Peter Miller, Dan Gerstle, Nick Curley, Cordelia Calvert, Gina Iaquinta, Haley Bracken, Carine Zambrano, and Zeba Arora.

Beyond editing, Weil frequently lectures on writing, publishing history, and the state of American culture and literature. He has spoken over the last few years in Munich, Guadalajara, Miami, Chicago, Yale University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Nebraska, among others. He has also written on books and publishing for various publications including The Washington Post and ArtForum.

Selected Works Edited by Robert Weil[edit]

Year Title Author Accolades
1996 From Bondage (Mercy of a Rude Stream, Vol. 3) Henry Roth Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
1997 The Smell of Apples: A Novel Mark Behr Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction
1998 All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery Henry Mayer Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
1999 The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White Henry Wiencek National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography
1999 Elegy for Iris John Bayley New York Times Bestseller
Basis for Iris (2001 film)
2000 Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon Patrick Tierney Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
2003 Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales Nelson Mandela (Editor) NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Children
2005 Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism Geoffrey R. Stone Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History
2008 The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family Annette Gordon-Reed Pulitzer Prize for History
National Book Award for Nonfiction
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography
2009 Stiches: A Memoir David Small Finalist for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature
New York Times Bestseller
2009 The Book of Genesis Robert Crumb New York Times Bestseller
2010 Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits Linda Gordon Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History
The Bancroft Prize
2010 Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and this Rendezvous with American History Yunte Huang Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award (Biography)
Edgar Award (Critical/Biographical)
California Book Award (Nonfiction)
2012 Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece Michael Gorra Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography
2012 The Social Conquest of Earth Edward O. Wilson New York Times Bestseller
New York Times Notable Book
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction
2012 Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story Jim Holt New York Times Bestseller
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
2013 Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations Mary Beard Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism
2013 Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present Max Boot New York Times Bestseller
2013 Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life Jonathan Sperber Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography
2013 Letters to a Young Scientist Edward O. Wilson New York Times Bestseller
2014 Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade Walter Kirn New York Times Bestseller
2014 The Last Kind Words Saloon: A Novel Larry McMurtry New York Times Bestseller
2014 The Meaning of Human Existence Edward O. Wilson New York Times Bestseller
Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
2014 Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time Ira Katznelson The Bancroft Prize
2015 The Complete Works of Primo Levi Primo Levi, translated by Ann Goldstein New York Times Notable Book
2015 SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome Mary Beard New York Times Bestseller
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
2015 Words Without Music: A Memoir Philip Glass New York Times Bestseller
2016 Cousin Joseph: A Graphic Novel Jules Feiffer New York Times Bestseller
2016 ’’Most Blessed of the Patriarchs’’: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf New York Times Bestseller
2016 New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America Wendy Warren Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for History
New York Times Notable Book
2016 Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life Ruth Franklin National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
Edgar Award (Critical/Biographical)
Bram Stoker Award for Best Non-Fiction
New York Times Notable Book
2017 The Annotated African American Folktales Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Maria Tatar NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction
2017 The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America Richard Rothstein Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
New York Times Bestseller
New York Times Notable Book
Winner of the Hillman Prize
2017 The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea Jack E. Davis Pulitzer Prize for History
Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
New York Times Notable Book
2018 The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam Max Boot Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
2018 These Truths: A History of the United States Jill Lepore New York Times Bestseller
2018 We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights Adam Winkler Shortlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
New York Times Notable Book
2019 Audience of One: Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America James Poniewozik New York Times Notable Book
2019 Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous with American History Yunte Huang
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography
2019 Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future Pete Buttigieg New York Times Bestseller
2020 Afropessimism Frank B. Wilderson III Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
2020 The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X Les Payne and Tamara Payne National Book Award for Nonfiction
New York Times Notable Book
2020 If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future Jill Lepore Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
2020 The Saddest Words: William Faulkner's Civil War Michael Gorra New York Times Notable Book
2020 Trust: America’s Best Chance Pete Buttigieg New York Times Bestseller
2021 On Juneteenth Annette Gordon-Reed New York Times Bestseller

References[edit]

  1. ^ ""Norton Revives Liveright Imprint." Poets and Writers". Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  2. ^ ""Robert Weil and the Music of Editing." PW". Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  3. ^ ""2017 Biographers International Organization Editorial Excellence Award.'". Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  4. ^ ""Robert Weil and the Music of Editing." PW". Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  5. ^ ""Robert Weil and the Music of Editing." PW". Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  6. ^ "Heyman Center". Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  7. ^ "Irene Lacher. "The Sunday Conversation: Robert Weil." Los Angeles Times". Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  8. ^ "Emily Witt. "Robert Weil and Star Lawrence Discuss Changes at Norton." The New York Observer". Retrieved July 7, 2011.
  9. ^ ""When Malcolm X secretly met with the Klan", Washington Post". Retrieved November 20, 2020.

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