Katharine S. White Edits The New Yorker is a literary biography of the unheralded woman behind the scenes of one of the most influential magazines of the 20th century, a woman who cultivated dozens of the writers whose works have created the American reader as we know her today. White began at The New Yorker just a few months after it started in 1925, and edited fiction until her retirement in 1961. She edited everyone from John O'Hara to John Updike, with Vladimir Nabokov and Edmund Wilson in between. But she did her best work by publishing a distinctive list of women writers whose careers were made at The New Yorker: Janet Flanner, Kay Boyle, Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Bishop, Jean Stafford, Nadine Gordimer and many more.
This biography will tell how she invented the role of fiction editor, how her experience as an urban working mother influenced her curation of the magazine, how she built an enduring literary marriage with her second husband, E.B. White, and how The New Yorker contributed to the lavish growth of American literature in the 20th century.
Forthcoming from HarperCollins in 2024
Supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, the Robert and Ina Caro Travel/Research Fellowship, the Robert B. Silvers Grant for Works in Progress, a Short-Term Research Fellowship from the New York Public Library, and the Brush Creek Artist's Residency.
Katharine White aboard the Astrid in the 1930s, filmed by her husband, E.B. White,
& used by permission of her son, Roger Angell