Biographies & Memoirs

Max Perkins: Editor of Genius

Max Perkins: Editor of Genius

The talents he nurtured were known worldwide: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and numerous others. But Maxwell Perkins remained a mystery, a backstage presence who served these authors not only as editor but also as critic, career manager, moneylender, psychoanalyst, father-confessor, and friend.

This outstanding biography, a winner of the National Book Award, is the first to explore the fascinating life of this genius editor extraordinare—in both the professional and personal domains. It tells not only of Perkin’s stormy marriage, endearing eccentricities, and secret twenty-five-year romance with Elizabeth Lemmon, but also of his intensely intimate relationships with the leading literary lights of the twentieth century. It is, in the words of Newsweek, “an admirable biography of a wholly admirable man.”


Chapter 1: The Real Thing

Chapter 2: Paradise

Chapter 3: Provenance

Chapter 4: Branching Out

Chapter 5: A New House

Chapter 6: Companions

Chapter 7: A Man of Character

Chapter 8: A Little Honest Help


Chapter 9: Crises of Confidence

Chapter 10: Mentor

Chapter 11: Lamentations

Chapter 12: The Sexes

Chapter 13: Triumphs over Time


Chapter 14: Going Home Again

Chapter 15: Critical Times

Chapter 16: The Letter

Chapter 17: A Sad Farewell

Chapter 18: By the Wind Grieved


Chapter 19: To Everything a Season

Chapter 20: Diminutions

Chapter 21: Portrait in Gray and Black

Chapter 22: A Toss of the Hat

Sources and Notes


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