- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay quip
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
Robert Loomis, editor of Styron, Angelou, retires
Question of the Day
NEW YORK (AP) - Robert Loomis, one of publishing’s most accomplished and longest serving editors, is retiring.
In a company memo shared with The Associated Press, the Random House Publishing Group announced Friday that Loomis was stepping down after 55 years with the company, effective the end of June. Loomis has worked with such commercially and critically successful writers as William Styron, Edmund Morris, Calvin Trillin and Maya Angelou, who has credited Loomis with pushing her into completing her first book, the classic “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”
“Robert Loomis has been my editor since 1968,” Angelou said in a statement Friday. “He has guided and encouraged me through 31 books. I can’t imagine trusting a manuscript in the hands of anyone else. I am not finished writing, so I cannot let him retire.”
Random House spokeswoman Theresa Zoro said the 85-year-old Loomis was out of town and unavailable for comment. She added that he was in good health and would continue working on books already in process.
“Book publishing formats and channels of distribution continue to evolve, but creative publishing begins with the author-editor relationship. Bob epitomizes the editor’s role at its best,” Random House president and publisher Gina Centrello wrote in the memo. “On a personal note, Bob has been a teacher and mentor to countless current and former colleagues here and across our industry.”
As much as anyone, Loomis has embodied the ideal of an old-fashioned editor: understated, but uncanny; polite, but persistent, known for saying a book was “almost” ready for publication. He worked with Angelou and other authors for decades and was especially close to Styron, who died in 2006. They became friends while attending Duke University and Loomis edited “Sophie’s Choice,” “Darkness Visible” and other Styron works.
In the 2011 memoir “Reading My Father,” daughter Alexandra Styron described Loomis and her father as a literary odd couple, the author “all untidy appetite and noisy id,” the editor a “sort of Leslie Howard figure, fair hair always meticulously groomed, his voice as gentle as his demeanor.” Alexandra Styron told the AP on Friday that her father “trusted Loomis entirely.”
Trillin, in a phone interview, called Loomis the “last link” to the old, pre-corporate Random House, when it was run by founder Bennett Cerf. Loomis, Trillin said, was the kind of editor who would “say the things you were supposed to say, like, ‘I don’t think you’re being quite clear here,’ or, ‘this contradicts what you said back there.’
“I would meet with him in his office,” Trillin added, “and he would have all these little checks in the manuscript. I would sometimes accuse him of not knowing what the checks meant, but he knew exactly what they meant.”
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson: Gays 'wont inherit the kingdom of God'
- John McCain to Harry Reid: Ill kick the crap out of you
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Nobody likes to talk about dying. But we can help.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow