About the Maxwell E. Perkins Award
“. . .the recognizing, the encouraging, the guiding of talent—that, in his opinion, was a sacred task worth any amount of effort, of risk, of time expended.”
–JH Wheelock on Maxwell Perkins
In 2005 the Center for Fiction established the Maxwell E. Perkins Award to honor the work of an editor, publisher, or agent who over the course of his or her career has discovered, nurtured and championed writers of fiction in the United States. This award is dedicated to Maxwell Perkins in celebration of his legacy as one of the country’s most import editors.
2013 Perkins Winner: Robin Desser
Robin Desser has worked at the Knopf Publishing Group since 1998 and this year was named Vice President, Editorial Director of Alfred A. Knopf. Among the celebrated works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry she has edited are Aravind Adiga’s Last Man in Tower, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, Anne Carson’s The Beauty of the Husband, Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted; Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth, Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children, and many more.
ABOUT MAXWELL E. PERKINS
Maxwell Evarts Perkins began his career in 1907 as a reporter for the New York Times, but soon moved to a position as advertising manager at the prestigious publishing house, Charles Scribner’s Sons in New York. In 1914 an opening in the editorial department led to Perkins promotion and the beginning of his stellar career in the field of fiction. His first major discovery came five years later when a young writer by the name of F. Scott Fitzgerald started corresponding with the house. Fitzgerald’s first book This Side of Paradise heralded a shift in the style of the time, and made the young writer famous. Perkins soon rose to prominence as an editor with impeccable taste as he signed Ernest Hemingway on to the company. Thomas Wolfe rounded out Perkins’ triumvirate and became a close friend of the editor’s. Sadly Perkins was cut down by a sudden death at the age of 62, but his legacy lives on in the many books he helped shape.