Reintroducing Book World – The Washington Post


Welcome (back) to the book world.

Starting this week, we’re starting something new and reviving something we love. I am pleased to announce that Book World is returning in print after a long hiatus. In 2009, the print edition was discontinued and coverage of books appeared in separate sections, Outlook and Style. We are now reuniting our book staff to produce expanded online coverage throughout the week and a print edition on Sundays.

This means much more than just reuniting the various Washington Post reviews under one roof. The rebirth of the section brings with it a renewed and expanded sense of what our book coverage can and should be.

We will continue to highlight books about politics, power and how it affects people’s lives for The Post’s uniquely positioned, globally interested audience. We will have original arguments born from looking at books about the forces driving our turbulent times, from disinformation and climate change to technological revolutions and reckoning with history. In Fiction, we’ll feature a diverse list of powerful and stylish critics, delve more frequently into the lives and minds of writers, and delve into the many arguments that build on what and how we read. We’ll help you find (and decide) everything: best sellers, obscure gems, award winners, disappointments and the rest, from here and around the world.

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You can find us more often on social media, where we ask you more often what you read and think. We’ll also keep an eye on older books—those that are newly relevant and those that are timelessly interesting or delightful—as we know readers want to find great books wherever and whenever they can.

Book World’s first editor was William McPherson, who was at its helm from 1972 to 1978. He became an acclaimed novelist and was among the critics who received multiple Pulitzer Prizes from Book World. Others include Jonathan Yardley, who won his Pulitzer before joining The Post, and Michael Dirda, who continues to be a major contributor to our pages as we relaunch. Our invaluable critic Ron Charles’ reviews are now in print on Sundays, and his popular Book Club newsletter (sign up here if you haven’t already) continues to be emailed out every Friday morning.

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Marie Arana, the last editor to oversee the standalone Book World division, is the author of several acclaimed books and a true literary ambassador: among others, she has been the first female literary director of the Library of Congress and former director of the National Book Festival in influential roles. I want to thank McPherson and Arana and the other editors whose work challenges us to aim high as we reinvent Book World for new audiences.

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On Book World’s 25th anniversary, Yardley wrote that McPherson “understood that this passage must be many things to many people.” And that stays true. Books encompass everything under the sun, and we treat them with the broad curiosity they (and their readers) deserve. We welcome your comments and suggestions as we embark on this new and historic venture with you. You can reach us at [email protected] Thank you for reading.

John Williams, Book Editor

A note to our readers

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