James Atlas Writer and Publisher, Atlas & Co.

James Atlas spent the first two decades of his career as a biographer (DELMORE SCHWARTZ: The Life of An American Poet; BELLOW: A BIOGRAPHY); novelist (THE GREAT PRETENDER); cultural commentator (THE BATTLE OF THE BOOKS: The Curriculum Debate in America); editor and staff writer (The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic); and literary critic (The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, the London Review of Books), before stumbling upon the idea of short biographies by great writers that became The Penguin Lives and led to a new and strange life as a publisher. In 2002 he founded Atlas Books, publishing series in co-ventures with HarperCollins (Eminent Lives) and W.W. Norton (Great Discoveries). Two years ago, under the name of Atlas & Co., he set up shop as an independent publisher, focusing on quality nonfiction in the areas of biography, memoir, history, and long-form reportage. He is also the host of Audible's just-launched Modern Vanguard series, introducing novels and nonfiction classics made available for the first time in audio and featuring original interviews with Paul Auster, John Irving, Brett Easton Ellis, Azar Nafisi, Naomi Wolf and many others to come.