Emily Stokes was named the Paris Review's new editor, in a surprisingly quick decision announced Tuesday.
Stokes, senior editor at the New Yorker since 2018, will replace Emily Nemens, who recently announced she's leaving the august post to write her second novel.
“Emily will honor the review's tradition of discovery,” said Paris Review publisher and noted writer Mona Simpson in the announcement of Stokes' appointment on the literary journal's web site.
“I believe she’ll publish distinctive work in a distinctive way, with courage, subtlety, and style.”
Whooo: courage, subtlety, and style: Founding Paris Review editor George Plimpton must be raising a supercilious smile somewhere.
Stokes' "distinctive way" means a heightened academic pedigree: She's a graduate of Cambridge University and was "a Kennedy Memorial Trust scholar" at Harvard.
She's also held senior editing positions at the Financial Times, T:The New York Times Style magazine and Harper's.
Nemens surprisingly advanced to the Paris Review from co-editorship of LSU's Southern Review, moving from Baton Rouge to Manhattan. She also received her MFA from LSU.
Although Nemens boosted the review's circulation and web traffic, she might not have had enough subtlety and style for the journal's board.
Stokes in her statement in the journal's announcement curiously cited the journal's signature interviews with famous authors rather than the discovery of new writers.
“Like many readers, I came to The Paris Review through its interviews, which show writing to be the hard, inspiring work that it is,” Stokes said.
“Over the years the review has introduced me to new and established writers who have provided the most pleasurable kind of company. After a year in which we have been alone and driven mad by the news, the review's mandate, to publish ‘the good writers and good poets, the non-drumbeaters and the non-axe-grinders,’ is a timely calling, and I am tremendously excited and grateful for this opportunity.”
Publishing the non-drumbeaters and the non-axe-grinders doesn't sound so courageous. But welcome to Stokes as the sixth editor in the 68-year history of the magazine.