Knopf Names Jordan Pavlin Its Editor in Chief

Knopf on Wednesday named Jordan Pavlin its new editor in chief, filling a place that has been vacant since its longtime editor and writer Sonny Mehta died on the finish of 2019.

Knopf, a part of Penguin Random House, is likely one of the most prestigious imprints in guide publishing, the literary residence of such authors as Toni Morrison, John Updike and Kazuo Ishiguro. Ms. Pavlin, who was most not too long ago Knopf’s editorial director, has been on the imprint since 1996. The authors she has labored with embrace Megha Majumdar, Ayana Mathis, Tommy Orange, Karen Russell and Yaa Gyasi.

“It is such a dream to be edited by Jordan,” Ms. Gyasi stated in an announcement about Ms. Pavlin’s promotion, “who sees the book you wanted to write on the horizon, just past the book you’ve written, and then gently, with acuity and warmth, asks if you see it too.”

Ms. Pavlin, 52, will proceed to report back to Reagan Arthur, Knopf’s writer, who final yr grew to become solely the fourth particular person to carry the place on the 106-year-old home. Mr. Mehta, a looming determine in the guide world who led Knopf for greater than 30 years, was each writer and editor in chief, however the jobs are actually cut up.

“Many of you know Jordan through the books she acquires and edits, and her record on this front is enviable,” Ms. Arthur stated in the announcement. “Her ability to identify the potential of a writer to deliver a transcendent work is nothing short of remarkable.”

Ms. Pavlin joined Knopf when she was just some years out of school. She graduated from Vassar College in 1990, the place she majored in English, and joined St. Martin’s Press as an editorial assistant. She moved to Little, Brown in 1992 and from there, went to Knopf.

While the previous yr has been difficult for guide publishers, it has additionally include a welcome surge in gross sales, as many individuals caught at residence in quarantine turned to books for leisure. It isn’t clear whether or not these positive factors will proceed as companies and economies reopen.

“I see the future as being determined, as it always has been, by quality,” Ms. Pavlin stated in a cellphone interview, “by finding the best books and the best authors, by making the most beautiful physical books from their work and publishing them with the greatest attention to detail.”