Feb 12, 2009
A lifelong resident of Illinois, Levi Stahl works at the University of Chicago Press. For the past three years he has maintained a literary blog, I’ve Been Reading Lately. He has written for the Poetry Foundation, the Chicago Reader, the Bloomsbury Review, the New-York Ghost, the Quarterly Conversation, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. His short fiction has recently been published in the New York Moon. Levi is also an editor with Joyland - Chicago edition (he’s currently accepting submissions from current and/or former Chicagoans. For more information, you can e-mail him at levistahlATgmail.com)
We met in Chicago to talk about his role as publicity manager for the University of Chicago Press. Early on we talk about copy writing and appealing to as many different audiences as possible, about tours and dealing with the media, about differences between university and mainstream publishers, Modernism, Robert Graves, black and white comedy teams, and finally, about the role Levi played in getting the UCP to re-issue a series of Richard Stark (pen name of Donald Westlake, who, sadly, died the day before we conducted our interview) ‘Parker’ mystery novels, most notably The Hunter, which, though stained through with violent ‘thuggery’ is, according to Levi, very well written, and filled with insight into humanity.