EMH’s Editor


Max Perkins . . . was famous for his ability to inspire an author to produce the best that was in him or her. More a friend to his authors than a taskmaster, he aided them in every way. He helped them structure their books, if help was needed; thought up titles, invented plots; he served as psychoanalyst, lovelorn adviser, marriage counselor, career manager, money-lender. Few editors before him had done so much work on manuscripts, yet he was always faithful to his credo, “The book belongs to the author.”
(A. Scott Berg, Max Perkins: Editor of Genius. E.P. Dutton, 1978)

I don’t know all that much about Maxwell E. Perkins. I do know that Scott Fitzgerald liked him very much and encouraged EMH to send his manuscript for The Sun Also Rises to Perkins at Scribner‘s. Hemingway liked Perkins very much and they worked together on EMH’s books until Perkins died in 1947. Perkins also edited books for Thomas Wolfe, Marjorie Rawlins, and Ring Lardner.


Later this year a movie entitled Genius starring Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Dominic West and Guy Pearce will premier based on the Berg biography. The film emphasizes Perkins dealings and closeness with Thomas Wolfe, but Dominic West portrays Hemingway as does Guy Pearce Fitzgerald.

Trailer for Genius:

I enjoyed seeing where Scribner’s was in NYC:

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  6 comments for “EMH’s Editor

  1. April 6, 2016 at 6:25 AM

    Really looking forward to the movie!

    • April 6, 2016 at 7:36 AM

      I am too, Martha! I think it will be in limited release mid-June and wide release in July.

  2. hilarymb
    April 6, 2016 at 7:44 AM

    Hi Denise – “Genius” … I must remember this and hope it gets to Eastbourne .. otherwise the film society will pick it up – well I shall ask them to put it in if necessary …

    I keep coming up against Scribners … funny how sometimes an organisation or place keeps coming into our ken … should be a great film … cheers Hilary

    • April 6, 2016 at 8:15 AM

      I feel certain you will be able to see it rather quickly, Hilary! So many great actors from the UK are starring. It is funny how that happens about a subject appearing–serendipitous. Happy Wednesday, Denise

  3. April 6, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    Oh, I can’t wait to see the movie. Thank you for covering Max Perkins. Editors like him … don’t think they exist anymore. True artists, interesting in the arts and quality.

    • April 6, 2016 at 1:00 PM

      So true, Silvia. He sounds like he was a fabulous man. His granddaughter was instrumental in helping restore the Finca in Cuba, as well as EMH’s library there and thousands of documents. She founded The Finca Vigía Foundation.

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