Sunday, January 25, 2009

Harper's Magazine Names Benjamin Moser as New Books Columnist

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.



obruzzer said...

To judge by the June issue, giving this job to Moser is one grotesque mistake. His own comment here about the quantity of galley proofs sent to him makes all the more inexplicable his squandering half of one month's space arrogantly insulting Eduardo Galeano's new book, "Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone."
Latin American intellectuals and political activists revere the importance of Galeano in their remarkable effort to, in Moser's words, "cast off hackneyed ideas and respond creatively to a changing world." John Leonard also understood this, and eloquently respected Galeano. Moser's
smug and ignorant dismissal of the great Uruguayan author brings a dismay unexpected from Harper's. Very sad indeed.

storybrown said...

Moser is more or less precisely who Davenport & Leonard weren't. Harper's needs to lose him quickly w/o fanfare . . .

king knox said...

The author of Nybooks Benjamin Moser has difficulty connecting with adults, despite his experience with children. Sheila Heti emphasizes the importance of introspection when solving problems. As sheila Heti points out in her afterword, introspection is important to problem-solving.
bejamin moser