Lorin Stein is the new editor of The Paris Review, the magazine announced on Friday.
Stein leaves Farrar, Straus, and Giroux where he has been an editor since 1998 and edited writers such as Eiif Batuman, Denis Johnson, Jonathan Franzen and Sam Lipsyte. In 2007, he edited three of the five nominees — Johnson’s Tree of Smoke, Lydia Davis’ Varieties of Disturbance and Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski — for the National Book Award for Fiction.
He is only the magazine’s third editor, succeeding award-winning reporter and long-time New Yorker staff writer Philip Gourevitch, who took over for George Plimpton who edited the magazine from its founding until he died in 2003.
And last year, writing for The Economist, he suggested a bailout for book critics.
“Bailing out the critics will mean thinking clearly about the uses and limitations of the web when it comes to the commerce of culture,” he wrote. “It will mean saving a free press devoted to books–a free press lively and big enough to do the job of separating quality from hype.”
In a piece for N+1, he held up the late Barbara Epstein as a model editor, saying she she was: “gentle, curious, encouraging, unforgiving. She could tease clear prose out of the famously opaque….She could also put the most timid contributors at ease. She was very good with younger writers—with young people in general. She seemed to take a sincere interest in their opinions, their gossip, their likes and dislikes, and this made it easy to risk stating the obvious or sounding stupid in the interest of saying what you actually believed.”
While some had suggested Dave Eggers would have made a great editor, it’s hard to argue that Stein is a tremendous choice.