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, 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, Edmund S. Morgan, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Freeman Dyson and Anthony Appiah. 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. 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 or Primo Levi, and "The Most Blessed of the Patriarchs" by Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf.

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.

Alphabetical list of authors edited or acquired

Edward Abbey,* Simon Armitage, Danielle Allen, Kwame Anthony Appiah, John Ashbery, Reza Aslan, Isaac Babel*, Nathalie Babel, J. G. Ballard, Whitney Balliett, Dan Barry, S. Jonathan Bass, John Bayley, Mary Beard, Mark Behr, Howard Bloch, Patricia Bosworth, Victor Brombert, Heinrich Boll,* Max Boot, Bertolt Brecht,* Barbara Brecht-Schaller, Jakob Burckhardt,* Frederick Busch, Zoe Caldwell, Jerome Charyn, Pete Buttigieg, Jim Clark, Arthur C. Clarke, Claude T. Clegg, Linda Colley, Gail Collins, Andrei Codrescu, Robert Conquest, Peter Constantine, Francis Ford Coppola, Margaret Jull Costa, Robert Craft, Aline Crumb, Robert Crumb, Mario Cuomo, Morris Dickstein, Pietro DiDonato, Michael Dirda, Placido Domingo, David Herbert Donald, Margaret Drabble, Freeman Dyson, Aly Colby Eckermann, Loren Eiseley,* Will Eisner, Tony Eprile, Leslie Epstein, Jules Feiffer, Adam Fitzgerald, Paul Freedman, Ruth Franklin, Charles Fried, Jonathan Galassi, Martin Gardner, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Peter Gay, David Gelernter, Philip Glass, Nadine Gordimer, Linda Gordon, Annette Gordon-Reed, Michael Gorra, Anthony Gottlieb, Eli Gottlieb, Edith Grossman, Grove Music Series, Allan Gurganus, Merle Haggard, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Moss Hart,* Michael Patrick Hearn, Patricia Highsmith,* Andrew Hodges, Bert Hoelldobler, Michael Hofmann, Jim Holt, Yunte Huang, Derek Humphrey, Clive James, Josef Joffe, Franz Kafka,* Donald Kagan, Edmund Keeley, George F. Kennan, Ian Kershaw, Martin Luther King, Jr.,* Walter Kirn, Leslie Klinger, Wolfgang Koeppen,* Pavel Kohout, Leszek Kolakowski, Michael Korda, Paul Krugman, Richard Leakey, Spike Lee, J. Robert Lennon, Peter Levi, Primo Levi,* David Levering Lewis, Antonio Lobo Antunes, Konrad Lorenz,* Sarah Lyall, David Mamet, Nelson Mandela, Chief Wilma Mankiller, Greil Marcus, Henry Mayer, Paul McCartney, J. D. McClatchy, James McCourt, William McFeely, Larry McMurtry, Russell Means, Luke Menand, Alice Miller, Davis Miller, Marvin Minsky, Alan Moore, Elsa Morante, Edmund S. Morgan, N. Scott Momaday, Benny Morris, Jan Morris, Iris Murdoch, A.S. Neill,* Jill Nelson, Edna O’Brien, Charles H. Ogletree, Jr., Michael B. Oren, George Orwell,* Steven Ozment, Thomas Pakenham, Leonard Peltier, David Plante, Paul Preston, James Purdy, Gregory Rabassa, Tina Rosenberg, Thane Rosenbaum, Joseph Roth,* Henry Roth, Richard Rothstein, Alan Ryan, Harvey Sachs, Rudiger Safranski, Vincent Scully, Amartya Sen, Gitta Sereny, Miranda Seymour, Roger Shattuck, Elisabeth Sifton, Peter Singer, David Small, Gerry Spence, Elizabeth Spencer, Stephen Spender, Donald Spoto, Geoffrey Stone, Oliver Stone, Bryan Sykes, Rabindranath Tagore,* Maria Tatar, Edwin Way Teale,* Studs Terkel, D.M. Thomas, Patrick Tierney, John Toland, Mark Twain,* Marilyn vos Savant, Michael Wallis, Fred Wander, Franz Werfel,* Henry Wiencek, Deborah Willis, Sean Wilentz, Angus Wilson,* Edward O. Wilson, Richard Zenith,

(* = Estate)


  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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