Max Perkins

Max Perkins

Editor of Genius

Book - 2008
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The National Book Award winner from Pulitzer Prize-winning author A. Scott Berg is now celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The talents he nurtured were known worldwide: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and numerous others. But Maxwell Perkins remained a mystery, a backstage presence who served these authors not only as editor but also as critic, career manager, moneylender, psychoanalyst, father-confessor, and friend.

This outstanding biography, a winner of the National Book Award, is the first to explore the fascinating life of this genius editor extraordinare --in both the professional and personal domains. It tells not only of Perkins's stormy marriage, endearing eccentricities, and secret twenty-five-year romance with Elizabeth Lemmon, but also of his intensely intimate relationships with the leading literary lights of the twentieth century. It is, in the words of Newsweek , "an admirable biography of a wholly admirable man."

The basis for the Major Motion Picture Genius , Starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, and Jude Law.
Publisher: New York :, Berkley Books,, [2008]
Edition: Berkley trade paperback edition
Copyright Date: ©1978
ISBN: 9780425223376
Branch Call Number: ANF 070.41092 BER
Characteristics: 498 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 23 cm


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Sep 20, 2017

This is a big read. Sit with a good light on the pages as the print in the paperback edition is small. I loved this book. I will firstly say it is well written, and I make this comment because too often books are not well written.

The story of this wonderful editor is so interesting, and he is fleshed out as a character. The story of his authors is fascinating, every one of them being given enough space for us readers to imagine them well. There is a third aspect to the biography, and that is how an editor works. The book opens with Max Perkins addressing a room full of editing students, hanging on his every word. I very much doubt that many editors have the backing to be all things to a writer as Perkins was.

Oct 28, 2015

Editor Maxwell Perkins often appears as a side character in biographies of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe. In this biography he is finally the main character in the story. The most fascinating parts of this book are about the intense relationships Perkins had with all of his writers. It is interesting to read how insecure some of these luminary authors could be about their writing, and the lengths Perkins went to in order to get them to be productive. It is impressive how many authors Perkins worked with, and how respected and beloved he was as an editor. This book is a comprehensive look at the career of the most influential editor of the twentieth century.

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