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News

LA Times Book Review Editor On His Way Out?

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Over at the TEV book blog, Mark Sarvas spreads the rumor from Publishers Weekly that Steve Wasserman, the Los Angeles Times Book Review editor, may be leaving. Sarvas pretty much echos our feelings about Wasserman's editorship of the section. He writes:

Now, since Wasserman's apparently only "likely leaving", we'd like to urge Wasserman in the strongest possible terms to follow your impulses and skeddadle. We'll even help you pack your books. Really, the door's that way. The fact is that once a week, the LA Times hits our doorstep with a truly sickening thud (we only take it on Sundays), and once a week we extract this limp, anemic, gasping thing that claims to be a Book Review. But it isn't really, hasn't been one for as long as we've been reading. Whether it's to do with Wasserman's well documented self-importance or these newer accusations of cultural tone-deafness, the end result has been the same. A dull, tepid and uninspiring weekly pamphlet that's utterly discardable and forgettable.

It's a golden opportunity for the overlords of the Los Angeles Times to seize and to refashion this section into something that reflects the vibrant and burgeoning literary culture in this city.

We think this is a great opportunity for the Times to do more with less, since the current Book Review is rarely 4 pages long. We'd like to see the section either folded into the Los Angeles Times Magazine, so as to accomodate interesting interviews with local authors and thinkers, or revamped to include special sections devoted to fiction and one "conversation" between local literary types about a theme unique to Southern California and/or its residents.

What would you do with the Book Review section if you could revamp it?