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Let's Review

The Times is looking for a new Book Review editor. Would you want the job? What would you change?

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Dale Peck, novelist and reviewer: “No. I would send back their letter with my own excrement on it. They have been just shitty to me. If I did take it, I would tell the staff that I was giving them a vacation to Club Med and put them on a plane to Siberia.”

Deborah Garrison, editor, Pantheon Books: “To enjoy it, you’d have to just not give a hoot about what anyone thinks. But you kind of have to decide, is this an organ for great criticism or is it just covering the ground? It’s a conundrum, and I think it’s virtually impossible.”

Jackie Collins, author of Hollywood Divorces: “You bet! I’d give major space to commercial fiction as well as literary masterpieces. If books were food, you wouldn't want to have steak every day—some days you’d fancy a hamburger.”

Judith Regan, publisher: “I actually had a conversation with Arthur Sulzberger. I said, ‘You should let me take over. It’s the most boring publication in America.’ He laughed and said, ‘Send me an e-mail.’ I said, ‘Send me a check.’ I’d make it a four-color glossy about the world of books.”

Nancy Bass, owner of Strand Book Store: “Yes. Their reviews should have stronger opinions on whether the book is worth reading.”

Janice Min, editor of Us Weekly: “I read enough history, philosophy, and literature in my present job.”


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