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 six 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, Placido Domingo, 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.

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 Sach's Toscanini (all of which were reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Book Review review), as well as 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. Other books edited by Weil that were reviewed on the front-page New York Times Book Review include, SPQR by Mary Beard, The Complete Works of Primo Levi, and "The Most Blessed of the Patriarchs" by Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf. The current staff of Liveright includes Peter Miller, Dan Gerstle, Nick Curley, Cordelia Calvert, Gina Iaquinta, Haley Bracken, and Gabriel Kachuck.

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.


  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.

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