Arzu Tahsin, publishing director for fiction, is leaving Weidenfeld & Nicolson after almost a decade.
Tahsin, who has published numerous prize-winning bestsellers including I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht and Her by Harriet Lane, will leave the publisher on 21st September 2017.
She told The Bookseller that although she had enjoyed her time at W&N and the opportunity to publish "truly wonderful writers", she felt it was "time for a change to explore a more flexible working life".
"I just want a change of scene," said Tahsin. "I've worked in offices my whole working life and I want to try and work a different way. It's not time out necessarily; I want to freelance a bit and see what's out there. I'm perfectly happy here and surrounded by nice people, but for me, it's something I've thought about and now is the time for me for a change."
She said that freelancing would allow her to focus on the thing she really loves - editing. "For me it's the best thing about the job, and it's great for it still to be the thing that keeps me in the industry," she said. "There's nothing like having a debut writer and going through their editorial experience with them. That fresh new energy someone can bring to a book, that has never diminshed - I love doing that."
She added: "I'm still excited enough by the industry to take some risks in the hope that something new and invigorating will evolve."
Tahsin joined W&N nine years ago from Bloomsbury where she was editor at large. Her replacement at W&N has yet to be decided and will be appointed in due course.
Katie Espiner, Orion m.d., commented: "Arzu has an exceptional eye and a huge heart. She is responsible for publishing some of the best voices of the last decade, including Khaled Hosseini, Maria Semple, Nathan Englander and Malala Yousafzai. Arzu is a rare person indeed: both a truly gifted editor and a warm and generous colleague. I shall miss her enormously, but know we'll work together again in the future."
Tahsin is contactable at firstname.lastname@example.org