The quiet one

In today’s New York Observer, Deborah Treisman is interviewed about the first “Début Fiction” issue of The New Yorker to be published during her reign as Fiction Editor.

Joe Hagan,* the interviewer, says:

After a year’s hiatus the “Début Fiction” issue is back, and under Ms. Treisman’s watch it’s a gentler affair. Ms. Treisman has done away with the glammy author photos that were a hallmark of the buzzy Buford era–no dreamy pinups of this issue’s debutantes, Lara Vapnyar, Daniel Alarcón and Heather Clay. And the stories themselves, while all well-wrought, don’t necessarily ring in the new era of post-Buford edginess that some expected. They’re more … meditative.

Regarding this year’s authors, Treisman says, “These were writers we were familiar with…. All three of them were people we’d thought about over time.”

Mr. Alarcón, 26, evidently was a strong candidate for the “Début Fiction” issue two years ago, while Ms. Clay and Ms. Vapnyar both landed book deals before their stories were chosen by Treisman. (Many thanks to Stephany for the link.)

On the Moorish Girl site, Laila observes: “Just as Buford selected then-assistant Nell Freudenberger for one such issue, so Treisman picked former New Yorker assistant Heather Clay.”

* You might want to read more of Joe Hagan’s Observer stories.


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