Why editors are important

A volume by definition uneven. Twelve chapters, thirty authors. Task, a medium copyedit. Pace, proofreading. And then twenty pages of this—

The predominant mix of all generations of mostly Latino of Mexican or Central American origin mean that often they come from places where despite experiences with slavery and a substantial group of people who are descendants of sub-Saharan Africans, the erasure of blackness in national ideologies means that many immigrants and their descendants see blackness as a “foreign” construct and something very different from themselves.

Mercifully, this chapter is short. Still.


In the midst of reviewing, editing, and revising, one reads. Sometimes further afield than others. Malaprop’s (www.malaprops.com) is amazing in many respects, not least for the writers who flow through. Friday is Yann Martel (The Life of Pi). I missed, but deliberately (why?), Elizabeth Gilbert when she came through town. Tonight we listened to Malcolm Jones, long-time editor with Newsweek, read from his captivating memoir of growing up Southern and trying to figure it out. He was introduced by Elizabeth Kostova (The Historian, The Swan Thieves). The other week was Ron Rash (Serena), a local writer who teaches at Western Carolina, a ways over in the Smokies. I love this place.