Paris Review editor Emily Nemens announced Wednesday that she's leaving, three years after being the surprise selection to take over George Plimpton's venerable literary journal.
Nemens, the author of the successful baseball novel "The Cactus League," said she's moving on to write a second book. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, “The Cactus League” drew critical praise.
In her farewell letter, published on the Paris Review's web site, Nemens cited the journal's record circulation, web site and podcast development, and publication of several anthologies during her tenure.
An accompanying announcement from Mona Simpson, head of the journal's board of directors, revealed no signs of displeasure with Nemens, who took over from disgraced editor Lorin Stein, who replaced Plimpton after his death. Simpson lauded Nemens' leadership and announced a search for her successor.
A native of Seattle and a graduate of LSU's MFA writing program, Nemens vaulted into the prestigious position after serving as co-editor of LSU's lauded Southern Review.
After her move to Manhattan, she maintained her Baton Rouge ties, recently recommending the rhythm and blues, swing and jazz programs of WBRH, the Baton Rouge High magnet school's public radio station.
Along with editing and writing, Nemens has also contributed illustrations to the New Yorker and other magazines.
While Nemens didn't rule out a return to editing, she's brimming with talent to develop a lucrative writing career in a publishing industry more and more dominated by women authors.
Nemens' departure follows a flurry of national media turnover, including the retirement of Washington Post editor Marty Baron last week. The New York Review of Books recently announced editorial changes.
Paris Review aficionados will keenly wait to see who fills one of American literature's prime jobs.