Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Marie Arana Leaves The Washington Post's Book World

Long serving (15 years) editor of the Washington Post Book World section, Marie Arana departed with a final post at Short Stack, the book section's blog. She is leaving the Post to pursue a full-time writing career.

Here is what Jane Ciabattari writing on the excellent Critical Mass blog had to say about Marie's move:

To begin this last roundup of the old year, I note with sadness that as of this week, Marie Arana will no longer be at the helm of the Washington Post Book World, where her insights, intuitions, and sheer good matchmaking put reviewers and books together with consistent wizardry.
As an assigning editor Marie challenged me with a Stephen King short story collection, which made me understand why Hollywood can’t afford to miss a single word that man writes, and sent me an Oscar Hijuelos novel, “A Simple Habana Melody” without knowing I had spent time in Havana.
She kept a remarkable section going, adjusting as needed to the requirement of expanding into an online presence, launching a Podcast and a blog.Her contributions to book criticism and book culture, including her years on the National Book Critics Circle board, have been remarkable. (See one of her Critical Mass posts here.)

Now I look forward to her continuing incarnation as an author of remarkable books (her new novel, “Lima Nights,“ sits on the stack I will attack after finishing the year-end stint of reading for the NBCC awards, and I gather she’s working on a book about Simon Bolivar and will also continue to write for the Post).

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