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Breaking: James Wood to Join New Yorker Staff

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This just in, from the Times: “James Wood, a senior editor at The New Republic, where he has been the literary critic for the past 12 years, is leaving to become a staff writer at The New Yorker…. At The New Yorker, he will be one of several staffers who write about books.” Congratulations, New Yorker—Wood is a gentleman and a scholar. I had the pleasure of working with him (and his wife, the talented Claire Messud) when I was an editor at the Newsday book section. First Ryan Lizza leaves TNR, now Wood; is this like an NBA trade, and next thing we hear two New Yorker staffers will be moving to Washington?


Good news. He’s a hell of a critic.

I hope TNY gives him a sufficiently high word count. It would be good to shake up the standard 2.5 pages the critics always get in the back of the book nowadays.

Kudos to David Remnick for picking up such a talented critic. Given that Jeffrey Goldberg’s departure was announced in late June (and Lizza’s arrival last month), it seems that summer is the period of “off-season trading.” Leon Wieseltier’s sarcasm in the Times article isn’t as funny as he wants it to be, but if I lost Wood to a competitor, I’d be grumpy, too.

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