Chair of Virago Lennie Goodings is presenting a radio programme about legendary editor Max Perkins and editor relationships today for Radio 4, with guests including Sarah Churchwell, Emma Paterson, Colm Toibin and Linda Grant.
Airing at 11.30 a.m. on BBC Radio 4 this Tuesday (26th January 26th) "Max: The Literary Kingmaker" revisits the life of Perkins, who nurtured and ushered in a generation of writing talent in 1920s America, including F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.
At the same time as paying homage to Perkins, credited as a "pioneering figure" for expanding the previously "largely mechanical" role of the book editor, Goodings shares her story. In the process she explores what it takes to be the bridge between writers and their readers – "to draw the best from an author using tact, reassurance, faith – and sometimes courage to call out false starts".
On the topic of editorial feedback guest Linda Grant talks about how it felt to be told to put a novel aside ("I went to bed for days") and Toibin talks about being asked to cut 50,000 words from his forthcoming novel (like going on a diet!"). Meanwhile Paterson and Goodings discuss the power and role of gatekeepers today. Also on the show is A Scott Berg, Perkins' biographer.
The programme is produced by Clem Hitchcock for Just Radio.
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