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Philip Gourevitch to leave Paris Review

November 6, 2009 |  3:48 pm

Philipgourevitch Philip Gourevitch will leave his position as editor of the Paris Review in April, the magazine announced today. Gourevitch, a former New Yorker staff writer who won the L.A. Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for his 1998 book "We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda," plans to return to writing full time. He has been editor of the Paris Review for five years.

During Gourevitch's tenure, the Paris Review, one of the nation's leading literary journals, increased circulation and advertising revenue. It gave more attention to nonfiction pieces and to photography, while changing format slightly (it got taller). Gourevitch edited the magazine's series of books of its interviews with writers, now on its fourth volume. And the Paris Review also developed a genuine Web presence, putting piles of content online, including new stories, literary events, video and rich archives.  

"It has been a great honor -- and great fun -- to have relaunched this wonderful magazine," Gourevitch said in the press release. "I published my own first stories and reportage in quarterlies, and it’s thrilling to have been able to give a comparable opportunity to a host of uncommonly gifted new writers, who have appeared in the Review and are going on to forge the literature of our time. I’m forever grateful to the board of directors that entrusted me with this essential magazine -- and to the brilliant staff who have joined me in this labor of love."

The Paris Review was founded in 1953 by George Plimpton, William Pène du Bois, Thomas H. Guinzburg, Harold L. Humes and Peter Matthiessen. Plimpton was editor until his death in 2003; Matthiessen, who won the 2008 National Book Award for "Shadow Country," will lead the search committee for a new editor.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Philip Gourevitch in 2008. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

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