Harper's Magazine has announced that Benjamin Moser will write the magazine's monthly New Books column. Moser's first column is scheduled for the May 2009 issue. From January 2003 to December 2008, New Books was written by the late John Leonard, the prolific, talented critic whose wit and style were widely admired.
"New Books, as written by Guy Davenport and John Leonard, was never less than a tour de force," said Roger D. Hodge, editor of Harper's. "Guy and John were both writers with unmistakable voices who invariably were able to comprehend a month's worth of fresh titles and find the elegant patterns of significance that tied them all together. Ben has the same kind of mind and an equally strong style. I'm delighted that he has agreed to write the column. "
Jennifer Szalai, a senior editor of Harper's who is responsible for the Reviews section, said, "Ben brings with him a breadth of knowledge and an array of interests that are nothing short of tremendous. His tastes as a critic and his skills as a writer are such that we look forward to reading him in Harper's each month."
Moser was born in Houston in 1976 and currently resides in the Netherlands. His work has been published in The New York Review of Books, Condé Nast Traveler, The American Scholar, and Newsweek, as well as in many other publications in the United States and abroad. In Harper's, Moser has written on subjects ranging from Texas history to the fiftieth anniversary of Brasília to Dutch still-life. He has published translations from French (Elie Wiesel, Bernard-Henri Lévy) and Portuguese (Bernardo Carvalho, Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza). Why This World, his biography of the Jewish-Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, is forthcoming in August from Oxford University Press.