Michiko Kakutani, Legendary New York Times Book Critic, Takes Buyout

The 'most feared woman in publishing' is stepping down at the New York Times.

July 27, 2017 3:42 pm

Michiko Kakutani, the Pulitzer Prize winner described by Vanity Fair as “the most powerful book critic in the English-speaking world” has opted to take a voluntary buyout as the New York Times makes tactical cuts to free up the budget and hire 100 additional reporters.

Kakutani, who joined the paper in 1979, helped make and shape the careers of literary names like George Saunders, Mary Karr, David Foster Wallace, and Jonathan Franzen, to Ian McEwan, Martin Amis, Zadie Smith. Vanity Fair reports that the departure of this “fearsome and unpredictable gatekeeper” will “instantly” alter the publishing world.

The Times reported Thursday that revenues and profits are up, with digital subscriptions to the Paper of Record surpassing print for the first time in the newspaper’s history.

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