The Paris Review is a quarterly English language literary magazine established in Paris in 1953 by Harold L. Humes, Peter Matthiessen, and George Plimpton. In its first five years, The Paris Review published works by Jack Kerouac, Philip Larkin, V. S. Naipaul, Philip Roth, Terry Southern, Adrienne Rich, Italo Calvino, Samuel Beckett, Nadine Gordimer, Jean Genet, and Robert Bly.
The Review's "Writers at Work" series includes interviews with Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot, Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, Thornton Wilder, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, William Carlos Williams, and Vladimir Nabokov, among many hundreds of others. Literary critic Joe David Bellamy called the series "one of the single most persistent acts of cultural conservation in the history of the world."
The headquarters of The Paris Review moved from Paris to New York City in 1973. Plimpton edited the Review from its founding until his death in 2003. Brigid Hughes took over as "executive editor" (she declined to use the title "editor" out of respect for Plimpton) from 2003 to 2005. She was followed by Philip Gourevitch from 2005 to 2010, Lorin Stein from 2010 to 2017, and Emily Nemens since April 2018.
|The Paris Review|
The Paris Review, Issue 1
|Categories||Art, culture, interviews, literature|
|First issue||Spring 1953|
|Company||The Paris Review Foundation|
|Based in||New York City (since 1973)|
The Paris Review hopes to emphasize creative work—fiction and poetry—not to the exclusion of criticism, but with the aim in mind of merely removing criticism from the dominating place it holds in most literary magazines. […] I think The Paris Review should welcome these people into its pages: the good writers and good poets, the non-drumbeaters and non-axe-grinders. So long as they're good.
The Review's founding editors include Humes, Matthiessen, Plimpton, William Pène du Bois, Thomas Guinzburg and John P. C. Train. The first publisher was Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan. Du Bois, the magazine’s first art editor, designed the iconic Paris Review eagle to include both American and French significance: an American eagle holding a pen and wearing a Phrygian cap.
The magazine’s first office was located in a small room of the publishing house Éditions de la Table ronde. Other notable locations of The Paris Review include a Thames River grain carrier anchored on the Seine from 1956 to 1957. The Café de Tournon in the Rue de Tournon on the Rive Gauche was the meeting place for staffers and writers, including du Bois, Plimpton, Matthiessen, Alexander Trocchi, Christopher Logue and Eugene Walter.
Brigid Hughes took over as editor following Plimpton's death in 2003; her last issue was March 2005. She was succeeded by Philip Gourevitch in spring 2005. Under Gourevitch's leadership, the Review began incorporating more nonfiction pieces and, for the first time, began regularly publishing a photography spread. The Paris Review also announced, in 2006, the publication of a four-volume set of Paris Review interviews. The Paris Review Interviews, Volumes I-IV were published by Picador from 2006–2009. Gourevitch announced his departure in the fall of 2009, citing a desire to concentrate more fully on his writing.
In 2007, an article published by The New York Times supported the claim that founding editor Matthiessen was in the CIA but stated that the magazine was used as a cover, rather than a collaborator, for his spying activities. In a May 27, 2008 interview with Charlie Rose, Matthiessen stated that he "invented The Paris Review as cover" for his CIA activities. Matthiessen maintained that the Review was not part of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), an organization used by the CIA to sponsor an array of literary magazines; but the record shows The Paris Review benefited financially from selling article reprints to CCF magazines.
Lorin Stein was named editor of The Paris Review in April 2010. He oversaw a redesign of the magazine's print edition and its website, both of which were met with critical acclaim. In September 2010, the Review made available online its entire archive of interviews. On December 6, 2017, Stein resigned amid an internal investigation into his sexual misconduct toward women he worked with at the magazine.
In October 2012, The Paris Review published an anthology, Object Lessons, comprising a selection of twenty short stories from The Paris Review's archive, each with an introduction by a contemporary author. Contributors include Jeffrey Eugenides (with an introduction to a story by Denis Johnson), Lydia Davis (with an introduction to a story by Jane Bowles), and Ali Smith (with an introduction to a story by Lydia Davis). It promises to be an "indispensable resource for writers, students, and anyone else who wants to understand fiction from a writer’s point of view".
On October 8, 2012, the magazine launched its app for the iPad and iPhone. Developed by Atavist, the app includes access to new issues, back issues, and archival collections from its fiction and poetry sections—along with the complete interview series and the Paris Review Daily.
In November 2015, The Paris Review published its first anthology of new writing since 1964, The Unprofessionals: New American Writing from The Paris Review. This collection includes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from the last five years of the magazine under Lorin Stein's editorial direction. Including writing by well-established authors like Zadie Smith, Ben Lerner, and John Jeremiah Sullivan, as well as emerging writers like Emma Cline, Ottessa Moshfegh, Alexandra Kleeman, and Angela Flournoy, The Unprofessionals emphasizes “contemporary writers who treat their art not as a profession, but as a calling.”
The current staff of The Paris Review includes Nicole Rudick (Managing Editor), Dan Piepenbring (Web Editor), Caitlin Youngquist (Assistant Editor), Sadie Stein (Contributing Editor), Robyn Creswell (Poetry Editor), Charlotte Strick (Art Editor), John Jeremiah Sullivan (Southern Editor), Adam Thirlwell (London Editor), Antonin Baudry (Paris Editor), Jeffery Gleaves (Digital Manager), Jessica Calderon (Development & Events), Janet Gillespie (Finance Manager), Irina Aleksander (Advertising & Promotions), and Andrew Jimenez (Circulation Manager). They aim to continue the magazine's original goal of promoting "fiction, poetry, belles lettres, essays".
In June we started an online arts gazette called The Paris Review Daily. […] But the core of our business, as long as I'm editor, is going to be putting out a paper magazine. […] We want the reader to be absorbed. It's not a thing to skim; it's a thing to read and to really get lost in. It's a refuge.— Lorin Stein, September 2010 
The Review has published several emerging writers who have gone to notable careers, including Adrienne Rich, Naipaul, Philip Roth, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Mona Simpson, Edward P. Jones and Rick Moody. Selections from Samuel Beckett's novel Molloy appeared in the fifth issue, one of his first publications in English. The magazine was also among the first to recognize the work of Jack Kerouac with the publication of his short story, "The Mexican Girl", in 1955. Other works which made their first appearance in The Paris Review include Italo Calvino's Last Comes the Raven, Philip Roth's Goodbye Columbus, Donald Barthelme's Alice, Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries, Matthiessen's Far Tortuga, Jeffrey Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides, and Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections.
An interview with E. M. Forster — an acquaintance of Plimpton's from his days at King's College, Cambridge—became the first in a long series of author interviews, now known as the Writers at Work series.
In 1964, The Paris Review initiated a series of prints and posters by contemporary artists with the goal of establishing an ongoing relationship between the worlds of writing and art—Drue Heinz, then publisher of The Paris Review, shared credit with Jane Wilson for initiating the series. In the half century since its inception, the series has featured notable New York artists of the postwar decades, including Louise Bourgeois, Willem de Kooning, David Hockney, Helen Frankenthaler, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Jimmy Ernst, Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol.
The series, suspended after George Plimpton's death in 2003, was relaunched in 2012 with a print by Donald Baechler.
Three prizes are awarded annually by the editors of The Paris Review: the Paris Review Hadada, the Plimpton Prize, and the Terry Southern Prize for Humor. Winning selections are celebrated at the annual Spring Revel. No application form is required. Instead, winners are selected from the stories and poems published the previous year in The Paris Review.
The Paris Review Spring Revel is an annual gala held in celebration of American writers and writing. The Revel "brings together leading figures and patrons of American arts and letters from throughout New York to pay tribute to distinguished writers at different stages of their careers". Proceeds from the Spring Revel go directly toward The Paris Review Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established by the co-founders in 2000 to ensure the future of The Paris Review.
The 2011 Spring Revel took place on April 12, 2011, chaired by Yves-André Istel and Kathleen Begala. Robert Redford presented the Hadada to James Salter. The 2011 Revel also featured Ann Beattie presenting the Plimpton Prize for Fiction and Fran Lebowitz presenting the inaugural Terry Southern Prize for Humor.
The 2013 Spring Revel took place on April 9, 2013 and presented Paula Fox with the Hadada.
The 2014 Spring Revel took place on April 8, 2014 and presented Frederick Seidel with the Hadada.
The 2015 Spring Revel took place on April 7, 2015 and presented Norman Rush with the Hadada.
In 2001 the Paris Review became a foundation. The directors of the foundations are: Scott Asen, Clara Bingham, Jeffrey Eugenides, Stephen Gaghan, Mala Gaonkar, James C. Goodale, Lawrence H. Guffey, Drue Heinz, Bokara Legendre, Jeanne McCulloch, Sandy Gotham Meehan, Sarah Dudley Plimpton, Emmanuel Roman, Akash Shah, Robert Silvers, Mona Simpson, Rose Styron, Liza Wachter.
I went there as a CIA agent, to Paris... I invented The Paris Review as cover.
The Bernard F. Conners Prize for Poetry is given by the Paris Review "for the finest poem over 200 lines published in The Paris Review in a given year", according to the magazine. The winner is awarded $1,000.
A "given year" for the Paris Review appears not to mean "calendar year". The magazine's awards sometimes go to more than one poet in a calendar year and to none in other calendar years.Charles Simic
Charles Simic (Serbian: Душан "Чарлс" Симић [dǔʃan tʃârls sǐːmitɕ]; born Dušan Simić; May 9, 1938) is a Serbian-American poet and former co-poetry editor of the Paris Review. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990 for The World Doesn't End, and was a finalist of the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for Selected Poems, 1963-1983 and in 1987 for Unending Blues. He was appointed the fifteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 2007.Claire Keegan
Claire Keegan (born 1968) is an Irish writer known for her award-winning short stories. Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, Granta, The Paris Review and translated into 14 languages.Donald Hall
Donald Andrew Hall Jr. (September 20, 1928 – June 23, 2018) was an American poet, writer, editor and literary critic. He was the author of over 50 books across several genres from children's literature, biography, memoir, essays, and including 22 volumes of verse. Hall was a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard, and Oxford. Early in his career, he became the first poetry editor of The Paris Review (1953–1961), the quarterly literary journal, and was noted for interviewing poets and other authors on their craft.
On June 14, 2006, Hall was appointed as the Library of Congress's 14th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry (commonly known as "Poet Laureate of the United States"). He is regarded as a "plainspoken, rural poet," and it has been said that, in his work, he "explores the longing for a more bucolic past and reflects [an] abiding reverence for nature."Hall was respected for his work as an academic, having taught at Stanford University, Bennington College and the University of Michigan, and having made significant contributions to the study and craft of writing.George Plimpton
George Ames Plimpton (March 18, 1927 – September 25, 2003) was an American journalist, writer, literary editor, actor and occasional amateur sportsman. He is widely known for his sports writing and for helping to found The Paris Review, as well as his patrician demeanor and accent. He was also famous for "participatory journalism" which included competing in professional sporting events, acting in a Western, performing a comedy act at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and playing with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and then recording the experience from the point of view of an amateur.Goodbye, Columbus
Goodbye, Columbus is a 1959 collection of fiction by the American novelist Philip Roth, comprising the title novella "Goodbye, Columbus"—which first appeared in The Paris Review—and five short stories. It was his first book and was published by Houghton Mifflin.
In addition to the title novella, set in New Jersey, Goodbye, Columbus contains the five short stories "The Conversion of the Jews," "Defender of the Faith," "Epstein," "You Can't Tell a Man by the Song He Sings," and "Eli, the Fanatic." Each story deals with the concerns of second and third-generation assimilated American Jews as they leave the ethnic ghettos of their parents and grandparents and go on to college, to white-collar professions, and to life in the suburbs.
The book was a critical success for Roth and won the 1960 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. The book was not without controversy, as people within the Jewish community took issue with Roth's less than flattering portrayal of some characters. The short story Defender of the Faith, about a Jewish sergeant who is exploited by three shirking, coreligionist draftees, drew particular ire. When Roth in 1962 appeared on a panel alongside the distinguished black novelist Ralph Ellison to discuss minority representation in literature, the questions directed at him became denunciations. Many accused Roth of being a self-hating Jew, a label that stuck with him for years.The title novella was made into the 1969 film Goodbye, Columbus, starring Ali MacGraw and Richard Benjamin.Invisible Man
Invisible Man is a novel by Ralph Ellison, published by Random House in 1952. It addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African Americans early in the twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marxism, and the reformist racial policies of Booker T. Washington, as well as issues of individuality and personal identity.
Invisible Man won the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction in 1953.
In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Invisible Man 19th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005, calling it "the quintessential American picaresque of the 20th century", rather than a "race novel, or even a bildungsroman". Malcolm Bradbury and Richard Ruland recognize an existential vision with a "Kafka-like absurdity". According to The New York Times, former U.S. president Barack Obama modeled his memoir Dreams from My Father on Ellison's novel.Literary Hub
Literary Hub is a daily literary website that launched in 2015 by Grove Atlantic president and publisher Morgan Entrekin, American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame editor Terry McDonell, and Electric Literature founder Andy Hunter.
Focused on literary fiction and nonfiction, Literary Hub publishes personal and critical essays, interviews, and book excerpts from over 100 partners, including independent presses (New Directions Publishing, Graywolf Press), large publishers (Simon & Schuster, Alfred A. Knopf), bookstores (Book People, Politics and Prose), non-profits (PEN America), and literary magazines (The Paris Review, n+1). The mission of Literary Hub is to be the "site readers can rely on for smart, engaged, entertaining writing about all things books." The website has been featured in The Washington Post, The Guardian, and Poets & Writers.In June 2016, Literary Hub launched Book Marks, a new site to showcase literary criticism from more than 70 publications.Little Expressionless Animals
"Little Expressionless Animals" is a 1988 short story by David Foster Wallace. It was first published in The Paris Review, and reprinted in his short story collection Girl with Curious Hair. The Village Voice described it as "riveting". The main narrative of the story is told in a cut-up style, with events taking place in a nonlinear fashion to increase dramatic tension.Lorin Stein
Lorin Hollister Stein (born April 22, 1973) is an American critic, editor, and translator. He was the editor in chief of The Paris Review but resigned in 2017 amid accusations of sexually inappropriate behavior. Under Stein's editorship, The Paris Review won two National Magazine Awards—the first in the category of Essays and Criticism (2011), and the second for General Excellence (2013).Ottessa Moshfegh
Ottessa Moshfegh (born May 20, 1981) is an American author and novelist. Her debut novel, Eileen, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and was a fiction finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.Peter Matthiessen
Peter Matthiessen (May 22, 1927 – April 5, 2014) was an American novelist, naturalist, wilderness writer, zen teacher and CIA agent. A co-founder of the literary magazine The Paris Review, he was the only writer to have won the National Book Award in both fiction and nonfiction. He was also a prominent environmental activist. Matthiessen's nonfiction featured nature and travel, notably The Snow Leopard (1978) and American Indian issues and history, such as a detailed and controversial study of the Leonard Peltier case, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (1983). His fiction was adapted for film: the early story "Travelin' Man" was made into The Young One (1960) by Luis Buñuel and the novel At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1965) into the 1991 film of the same name.
In 2008, at age 81, Matthiessen received the National Book Award for Fiction for Shadow Country, a one-volume, 890-page revision of his three novels set in frontier Florida that had been published in the 1990s. According to critic Michael Dirda, "No one writes more lyrically [than Matthiessen] about animals or describes more movingly the spiritual experience of mountaintops, savannas, and the sea."Matthiessen was treated for acute leukemia for more than a year. He died on April 5, 2014, three days before publication of his final book, the memoir In Paradise on April 8.Philip Gourevitch
Philip Gourevitch (born 1961), an American author and journalist, is a longtime staff writer for The New Yorker and a former editor of The Paris Review. His most recent book is The Ballad of Abu Ghraib (2008), an account of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison under the American occupation. He became widely known for his first book, We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families (1998), which tells the story of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.Salvage the Bones
Salvage the Bones is a 2011 novel by Jesmyn Ward and was the 2011 recipient of the National Book Award for Fiction. The novel explores the plight of a working-class African-American family in Mississippi as they prepare for Hurricane Katrina and follows them through the aftermath of the storm. Ward, who had lived through Katrina, wrote the novel, after being very "dissatisifed with the way Katrina had receded from public consciousness".In an interview with the Paris Review, Ward said she drew inspiration from Medea and the works of William Faulkner.The Basketball Diaries
The Basketball Diaries is a 1978 memoir written by author and musician Jim Carroll. It is an edited collection of the diaries he kept between the ages of twelve and sixteen. Set in New York City, they detail his daily life, sexual experiences, high school basketball career, Cold War paranoia, the counter-culture movement, and, especially, his addiction to heroin, which began when he was 13.
Carroll followed up his original memoirs with a sequel of sorts called The Downtown Diaries which follows his relocation to California and his continued addiction to heroin.
The book was made into a film of the same name in 1995 starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jim Carroll and Mark Wahlberg as Mickey.The Corrections
The Corrections is a 2001 novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. It revolves around the troubles of an elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children, tracing their lives from the mid-20th century to "one last Christmas" together near the turn of the millennium. The novel was awarded the National Book Award in 2001 and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 2002.
The Corrections was published to widespread acclaim from literary critics. The sense of anxiety and apprehension found in its characters has been compared with those of Americans following the September 11 terrorist attacks, despite the novel's release having preceded that event by ten days. As a result, many have interpreted the novel as having prescient insight into the mood of post-9/11 American life, and numerous publications have ranked it with the best works of contemporary fiction.The Reluctant Fundamentalist
The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a novel by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid, published in 2007.
The novel uses the technique of a frame story, which takes place during the course of a single evening in an outdoor Lahore cafe, where a bearded Pakistani man called Changez tells a nervous American stranger about his love affair with an American woman, and his eventual abandonment of America. A short story adapted from the novel, called "Focus on the Fundamentals," appeared in the fall 2006 issue of The Paris Review. A film adaptation of the novel by director Mira Nair premiered at the 2012 Venice Film Festival.The Virgin Suicides
The Virgin Suicides is the 1993 debut novel by American writer Jeffrey Eugenides. The fictional story, which is set in Grosse Pointe, Michigan during the 1970s, centers on the lives of five sisters, the Lisbon girls. The novel is written in first person plural from the perspective of an anonymous group of teenage boys who struggle to find an explanation for the Lisbons' deaths. The book's first chapter appeared in The Paris Review in 1990, and won the 1991 Aga Khan Prize for Fiction. Eugenides told 3am Magazine: "I think that if my name hadn't been Eugenides, people wouldn't have called the narrator a Greek chorus". The novel was adapted into a 1999 movie by director Sofia Coppola.William Pène du Bois
William Sherman "Billy" Pène du Bois (May 9, 1916 – February 5, 1993) was an American writer and illustrator of books for young readers. He is best known for The Twenty-One Balloons, published in April 1947 by Viking Press, for which he won the 1948 Newbery Medal. As illustrator he was twice a runner-up for the Caldecott Medal.
The Twenty-One Balloons is the work by Pène du Bois that WorldCat reports most widely held in participating libraries, by a wide margin. His other most widely held works are five books written by others, which he illustrated (below), and the two Caldecott Honor picture books, which he also wrote.From 1953 to 1960, Pène du Bois was art editor of The Paris Review, working alongside founder and editor George Plimpton.