Pamela Paul – New York Times Book Review
Late Night Conversation, hosted by Kristin Maffei
Tonight our New York staff is delighted to speak with Pamela Paul, editor of the New York Times Book Review. She is also the author of The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony, Pornified, and Parenting, Inc., and is the editor of By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review.
Listen to the full episode here…
Listen to Pamela talk with Kristin about her own surprising path to becoming an author and editor, the future of book reviews, what it’s like to have her own books reviewed, and how she’s working towards diversity in the reviews.
In terms of gender, [achieving diversity] was not hard work. I didn’t feel like we had to make a major effort – there are a lot of great books being published by women and there are a lot of great women who are literary critics. So it was not something where we had to say ‘Wait, let’s look at this issue, do we have enough women??’ It really arose organically.
I would say that what is harder to achieve – and it’s not because there aren’t great writers and great critics out there, but because there isn’t as much published – is to get diversity on a broader level, particularly in terms of ethnicity, in terms of country of origin, in terms of point of view, background. The Book Review is to have a constant mix – both old voices and new voices – and to get unexpected people in there. So getting a mix of both established people and new people from a wide variety of backgrounds – that’s really more of a challenge. And I just don’t like to have an issue where, you know, it’s all white people…
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ABOUT OUR GUEST
PAMELA PAUL is the editor of The New York Times Book Review. Her first book, The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony, was named one of the best books of 2002 by The Washington Post; her second book, Pornified, was named one of the best books of 2005 by The San Francisco Chronicle. She is also the author of Parenting, Inc. (2008) and the editor of the new anthology, By the Book: Writers on Literature and Literary Life (2014). Paul has been a guest on Oprah, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Early Show, and Politically Incorrect, and has made regular appearances on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. She also speaks frequently on National Public Radio. She has testified about her work before Congress and presented her research to Parliament, and is a frequent public speaker at universities, conferences and other venues. Paul has lived in London, Paris and Chiang Mai, and currently lives with her family in New York City.