The Atlantic, a literary destination since its founding 165 years ago as a magazine of “Literature, Art, and Politics,” is today unveiling a dramatically expanded Books section devoted to essays, criticism, reporting, original fiction, poetry, and book recommendations, and announcing a first-of-its-kind book imprint called Atlantic Editions in partnership with the independent publisher Zando. Atlantic Editions will publish a series of books by Atlantic writers, each on a single and timely topic.
Leading the Books relaunch today is “Chasing Joan Didion,” the June cover story, by staff writer Caitlin Flanagan, who sought to understand Didion’s writerly powers by visiting some of the houses in California where she lived. Flanagan and deputy editor Jane Yong Kim will talk about the cover story during a virtual event Thursday, May 19, at 12 p.m. ET. (Register here.) This is the first in a new series of virtual Book events called The Atlantic Reads. The Atlantic’s Summer Reading Guide, also published today, matches readers with our writers’ and editors’ recommendations for what to read this summer, based on your mood.
“The Atlantic is a writers’ collective, and for 165 years we have been a magazine for anyone who loves reading and literature,” said Adrienne LaFrance, The Atlantic’s executive editor. “Especially in a moment of tremendous global upheaval, we need books to understand ourselves and one another. We need books to help promote the free and open exchange of ideas. And we need them because they put more beauty into the world.”
The Atlantic Editions imprint with Zando draws from this rich literary history and represents a new venue for publishing Atlantic writers. The books under the imprint will feature long-form journalism by Atlantic writers, each devoted to a single topic, and will draw from contemporary articles or classic storytelling from the magazine’s rich archive. The first books––set to publish in January 2023––are from staff writers Megan Garber, On Misdirection; Sophie Gilbert (a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism), On Womanhood; and senior editor Lenika Cruz, On BTS. They will offer their definitive writing on, respectively, our fractured attention, feminism, and the cultural influence of the world’s biggest band. Staff writer Kaitlyn Tiffany and contributing writer Lizzie Plaugic, who together write the popular newsletter Famous People, will also release a collection for Atlantic Editions. The books are being designed by The Atlantic’s art director Oliver Munday.
“This exciting partnership enables us to do what we all love so much: share important ideas, arguments, and stories with readers everywhere. As a new publisher on the scene, it is a privilege for us at Zando to team up with this unparalleled American literary institution to create Atlantic Editions and support the talented Atlantic writers and their work wherever books are sold,” said Molly Stern, Zando’s founder and chief executive.
Through this partnership, Zando and The Atlantic seek to bring these stories to a wider audience by pricing the books at an affordable cost and making them accessible as individual, definitive works. The partnership was originated by Atlantic Ventures, a business-development group that works to foster cultural projects rooted in the magazine’s most consequential journalism.
Zando was created by Stern to connect inspiring authors to the audiences they deserve, and to help readers find new books to love. Zando is publishing its first three titles this spring––All the Secrets of the World, by Steve Almond; The Odyssey, by Lara Williams; and Patricia Wants to Cuddle, by Samantha Allen––and has announced publishing partnerships with Gillian Flynn, Lena Waithe, John Legend, and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Books and literature are foundational to The Atlantic’s mission, dating back to its founding by a collective of America’s greatest celebrated transcendentalist writers in Boston in 1857. Today, coverage is led by Kim, working alongside Ann Hulbert, the literary editor of the print magazine, and senior editor Gal Beckerman, who joined The Atlantic this year from The New York Times Book Review.
In an editor’s note introducing the expanded Books section, Kim writes: “Reading can show us, anew, the forces that shape our institutions, our beliefs, and our sense of self. It can expand the way we look at the world around us. At The Atlantic, our aim has been, and will be, to introduce readers to such books, old and new, and to engage with the ideas in them critically and inquisitively.”
Anna Bross, The Atlantic