Reintroducing Book World
It means more than just the reunification of the Washington Post’s disparate reviews under one umbrella. The rebirth of the section brings with it a renewed and expanded sense of what our books coverage can and should be.
We will continue to emphasize books about politics, power and their impact on the lives of everyday people for The Post’s uniquely positioned, globally engaged audience. We will have original arguments that arise from considering books about the forces fueling our tumultuous times, from misinformation and climate change to technological revolutions and the calculation of history. In fiction, we will showcase a diverse roster of strong and stylish critics, often exploring the lives and minds of authors, and engaging with the many arguments that underlie what and how we read. We’ll help you find (and decide) everything here and from around the world: bestsellers, obscure gems, award winners, disappointments and the rest.
You’ll find us more often on social media, where we’ll often ask you what you’re reading and thinking. We’ll also keep an eye on old books—those that are newly relevant and those that are just as interesting or delightful as the moment—knowing that readers want to find great books wherever and whenever they can.
Bookworld’s first editor was William McPherson, who served as chief from 1972 to 1978. He became a famous novelist and was among several Pulitzer Prize-winning critics who were nurtured by Bookworld. Others include Jonathan Yardley, who won his Pulitzer before coming to The Post, and Michael Durda, who remains a key contributor to our pages as we relaunch. Reviews by our invaluable critic Ron Charles will now run in print on Sundays, and his popular book club newsletter (Sign up here If you haven’t already) will still go out every Friday morning via email.
Mary Arana, the last editor to oversee the stand-alone Bookworld section, is the author of several acclaimed books and a true literary ambassador: the first literary director of the Library of Congress and former director of the National Book Festival, among others. I want to thank McPherson and Arana and the other editors whose work challenges us to reimagine the book world for a new audience.
On the 25th anniversary of Book World Yardley wrote that McPherson “understood that this section must be many things to many people.” And it remains true. Books cover everything under the sun, and we’ll treat them with the broad curiosity they (and their readers) deserve. We welcome your comments and suggestions as we embark on this new, and ambitious, project with you. You can reach us. email@example.com. Thanks for reading.
– John Williams, Books Editor
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