Angel to leave Faber to return to New York

Angel to leave Faber to return to New York

Faber & Faber publisher Mitzi Angel is leaving the press at the end of June to return to New York, where she will take up the role of senior vice president and publisher at her former firm Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG).

Angel joined Faber in October 2015 from her position as vice president and executive editor at FSG. She replaces Jonathan Galassi, who is stepping down from the role of publisher at FSG after 20 years in the role.

Faber is now in the process of appointing her successor.

Chief executive Stephen Page said the publisher was “disappointed” to lose Angel, crediting her with setting “the highest editorial and literary standards for our publishing”. However, he said she leaves the press “in a position of great strength”.

“She’s also been great fun to work with, bringing energy and flair to everything that she does. We will miss her,” Page said.

Among Angel’s stand-out acquisitions are Sally Rooney's debut, Conversations with Friends and Leila Slimani's Lullaby, Page said. He told The Bookseller: “Mitzi brought an editorial confidence to our publishing and that is something we were looking to do when we created the role of publisher. We wanted to be an editorial powerhouse and to that we needed a publisher with a strong literary cultural core, and that is what Mitzi has brought. Not only have we been commercially successful, but we wanted to reassert ourselves as a leading literary house, in Faber’s tradition and I believe that is what we have done.”

Page said he wasn’t concerned about appointing Angel’s successor, because he believes “British publishing is in a really confident place right now.”

“There has been some really strong publishing for serious readers recently,” he said.  “We've set a high bar of success both culturally and commercially over the last few years, and I am looking forward to finding the person who can lead this excellent team and rich list to even greater success."

Faber saw its turnover increase by just under 10% to £18.72m for the end of March 2017, with operating profit up by more than 80% to £1.97m - the second best results for the publisher in its history.

During Angel's time as publisher at the firm, Faber "closed" the positions of publisher for fiction and paperbacks and publisher for non-fiction and the arts, with Hannah Griffiths leaving her role at the company after 12 years and Julian Loose leaving after 25 years.

Explaining that decision in an interview with The Bookseller last year, Angel said she wanted to create a “simpler” structure. “I thought it would be better if all the editors reported to me and we didn’t have these roles that were in charge of separate bits of the company,” she said at the time. “I thought it was very important for the decisions ultimately to be made by the editor and one other person, i.e. me, rather than there being lots of layers.”

In the same interview, Angel said there was always part of her which wondered whether she would end up at Faber. “I’d grown up with Faber books around me, they were part of my adolescence, so working in publishing you can’t help but think: ’This would be amazing,” she said then.

Appointments to the company during Angel’s time as publisher include Louisa Joyner in the role of editorial director and Fred Baty as Guardian Faber commissioning editor. Ella Griffiths and Libby Marshall were also appointed as editorial assistants, Emmie Francis as assistant editor and Laura Hassan was promoted to a  new role as editorial director, non-fiction.