My career has several milestones: the first paperback reprint Henry Tom at Johns Hopkins let me handle (Flight in America by Roger Bilstein); the first book published start to finish (The I of the Beholder by Stephen Vicchio); the first title of a list I completely shaped (The Fountain of Highlandtown by Rafael Alvarez); and the one that has a life of its own (Leap Into Darkness
by Leo Bretholz and Michael Olesker).
While publishing has changed since 1992, my passion to bring literary artists to audiences hasn't. I still look to Maxwell Perkins (1884-1947) for inspiration. In 1910, after working as a reporter for the New York Times, Max Perkins joined the venerable publishing house of Charles Scribner's Sons. He sought out promising new literary artists and ended up being the editor of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe among so many others.
How cool is that?
A quick scan of the trades such as Publishers Weekly from the last year might lead one to wonder whether it is passion or lunacy that's the compelling force. Maybe a bit of both, but I still believe in the aesthetic and power of these things called books. Hopefully, a new publishing model that employs modern technology and wiser strategies will take some of the madness out of the equation.
It's just another milestone. That's me in the corner of photo with colleagues from Johns Hopkins University Press, c. 1994. And, no, that's not a mullet!
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