Daniel Menaker, award-winning author and editor, dead at 79


Daniel Menaker, an award-winning writer of fiction and nonfiction and a longtime editor at The New Yorker and Random Home who labored with Alice Munro, Salman Rushdie, Colum McCann and lots of others, has died at age 79.

Menaker’s son, podcaster Will Menaker, introduced on Twitter that he died Monday of pancreatic most cancers, along with his spouse, the author and editor Katherine Bouton; and his two kids at his mattress aspect.

“He was me, and I’m him in so some ways,” Will Menaker tweeted. “I miss him terribly, however am struck with a profound feeling that I’m the luckiest man alive for having been his son.” Daniel Menaker was the writer of a number of books, together with the memoir “My Mistake” and the comedian psychological novel “The Therapy,” tailored right into a 2007 film starring Chris Eigeman and Ian Holm.

He was additionally identified for the O Henry Award-winning title story of his assortment “The Outdated Left,” which pulls on his early childhood in Greenwich Village and his “crimson diaper” upbringing: His father allegedly spied on Trotsky in Mexico, the place the exiled Russian revolutionary was ultimately assassinated, on behalf of the Communist Social gathering; an uncle was named for Friedrich Engels.

In dialog, Menaker was usually genial and self-effacing, however he would acknowledge aggressive and boastful sides and was haunted by a household tragedy he helped deliver on. n 1967, throughout a household sport of contact soccer, he inspired his older and solely brother Mike to play defence, regardless that Mike was troubled by dangerous knees. Mike Menaker tore a ligament and died after surgical procedure when he developed septicemia.

“Someplace in my hideous id, I killed him,” Menaker wrote in his memoir. “I vanquished him from the sphere, and spoils are all mine.” Menaker was an undergraduate at Swarthmore and acquired a grasp’s diploma at Johns Hopkins College. He taught at non-public college and labored as an editorial assistant on the Prentice Corridor publishing home earlier than becoming a member of The New Yorker as a reality checker in 1969.

He remained for greater than 25 years, rising from reality checker to editor, dealing with work by Munro, Pauline Kael and George Saunders amongst others. He was additionally printed within the journal, beginning with a narrative by which he imagines his brother coming back from the lifeless, “Grief.” In his memoir, he remembered being pushed out of the journal within the mid-1990s by then-editor Tina Brown and handed off to her husband, Harry Evans, who was operating Random Home and made Menaker a senior editor.

Over the subsequent decade, his authors included Rushdie and such future prize winners as McCann and Elizabeth Strout. He additionally took on certainly one of publishing’s extra uncommon assignments — the manuscript for the novel about Invoice Clinton’s 1992 presidential run “Major Colors,” which he edited with out figuring out who wrote it.

The 1996 best-seller was launched anonymously, though the writer was ultimately revealed to be journalist Joe Klein.

“It bolstered the training I received at Swarthmore, which was very a lot explicative. You didn’t care who wrote a poem, you simply learn it,” Menaker advised the Paris Assessment in 2014. “I’m unsure that ‘Major Colours’ is a good murals. I do know that it’s an awfully good novel, and it was a pleasure to have all of the writer problems minimize away. In order that was a kind of purist, graduate-school method to one thing that was a business publication, but it surely was nice enjoyable.”

He was compelled out from Random Home in 2007 — his wage was too excessive, his earnings too low, he would recall — and in recent times labored as a advisor for Barnes & Noble and on the school for the artistic writing program at SUNY: Stony Brook College.

(This story has been printed from a wire company feed with out modifications to the textual content.)

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