The World She Edited: Katharine S. White at The New Yorker (Hardcover)

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A lively and intimate biography of trailblazing and era-defining New Yorker editor Katharine S. White, who helped build the magazine’s prestigious legacy and transform the 20th century literary landscape for women.

In the summer of 1925, Katharine Sergeant Angell White walked into The New Yorker’s midtown office and left with a job as an editor. The magazine was only a few months old. Over the next thirty-six years, White would transform the publication into a literary powerhouse.

This exquisite biography brings to life the remarkable relationships White fostered with her writers and how these relationships nurtured an astonishing array of literary talent. She edited a young John Updike, to whom she sent seventeen rejections before a single acceptance, as well as Vladimir Nabokov, with whom she fought incessantly, urging that he drop needlessly obscure, confusing words.

White’s biggest contribution, however, was her cultivation of women writers whose careers were made at The New Yorker—Janet Flanner, Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Bishop, Jean Stafford, Nadine Gordimer, Elizabeth Taylor, Emily Hahn, Kay Boyle, and more. She cleared their mental and financial obstacles, introduced them to each other, and helped them create now classic stories and essays. She propelled these women to great literary heights and, in the process, reinvented the role of the editor, transforming the relationship to be not just a way to improve a writer’s work but also their life.

Based on years of scrupulous research, acclaimed author Amy Reading creates a rare and deeply intimate portrait of a prolific editor—through both her incredible tenure at The New Yorker, and her famous marriage to E.B. White—and reveals how she transformed our understanding of literary culture and community.

About the Author

Amy Reading is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment of the Humanities and the New York Public Library. She is the author of The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History of the Big Con. She lives in upstate New York, where she has served on the executive board of Buffalo Street Books, an indie cooperative bookstore, since 2018.  

Praise For…

“[A] remarkable piece of storytelling . . .[filled with] brilliant portraits. . . . It’s great fun to read.”
Boston Globe on The Mark Inside

“Engrossing. . . . [Reading] gets to the center of both Norfleet’s story and the mass appeal of the con artist as a figure in American culture.” — Paris Review on The Mark Inside

“An engaging book for anybody who wants to better understand misconduct in the realm of finance—and the consequences of such misconduct for everybody involved.” — USA Today on The Mark Inside

“An entertaining read, grounded in detailed historical analysis. . . . A fascinating story of crime and punishment.” — New York Journal of Books on The Mark Inside

“This work, which puts deception in a sociological context from the settlement of the colonies on, is riveting, exciting, and eye-opening. . . . Thoroughly researched and engagingly presented.”
Booklist (starred review) on The Mark Inside

“This account of con artists and obsessive revenge is replete with dramatic twists and turns. . . . [and] vibrant characterizations. . . . This narrative of vigilante justice flows like fiction, as con artistry is illuminated throughout, with resonance in today’s world of high-tech con artistry.”
Publishers Weekly on The Mark Inside

Product Details
ISBN: 9781328595911
ISBN-10: 1328595919
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2024
Pages: 576
Language: English