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Jonathan Yardley (born 1939) is a book critic at The Washington Post, and at one time of the Washington Star. In 1981 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

Background and education[edit]

Yardley was born in Pittsburgh in 1939. His father was a teacher of English and the classics, as well as an Episcopal minister and a headmaster at two East Coast private schools. Yardley graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was the editor of the student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, in 1961. Yardley is married to biographer/novelist Marie Arana, the former editor of Washington Post Book World.[1] His sons, Jim Yardley and William Yardley, by a previous marriage, are New York Times reporters. He and his son Jim are one of two father-son recipients of the Pulitzer Prize.

Career[edit]

After leaving Chapel Hill, Yardley interned at the New York Times as assistant to James Reston, the columnist and Washington Bureau chief. From 1964 to 1974, Yardley worked as an editorial writer and book reviewer at the Greensboro Daily News; during this time, he was also a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, academic year 1968-1969, where he studied American literature and literary biography. From 1974 to 1978, Yardley served as book editor of the Miami Herald. From 1978 to 1981, he was the book critic at the Washington Star, receiving a Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism in 1981. In 1981, Yardley became book critic and columnist at the Washington Post.

Yardley is author of several books, among them biographies of Frederick Exley and Ring Lardner. His memoir about his family, Our Kind of People, describes his parents' 50-year marriage and casts a wry eye on the American WASP experience. He edited H.L. Mencken's posthumous literary and journalistic memoir, My Life as Author and Editor. He has written introductions to books by Graham Greene, A. J. Liebling, Booth Tarkington and others.

Yardley is known simultaneously as a scathingly frank critic and a starmaker. Among the talents he has brought to public light and championed are Michael Chabon, Edward P. Jones, Anne Tyler, William Boyd, Olga Grushin and John Berendt. He wrote a famously harsh review of Joe McGinniss' book The Last Brother: The Rise and Fall of Teddy Kennedy, saying "Not merely is it a textbook example of shoddy journalistic and publishing ethics; it is also a genuinely, unrelievedly rotten book, one without a single redeeming virtue, an embarrassment that should bring nothing except shame to everyone associated with it."[2] In early 2003, Yardley began a series called "Second Reading",[3] described as “An occasional series in which The Post’s book critic reconsiders notable and/or neglected books from the past.” Every month or so, for the next seven years, he published essays about notable books from the past, many of which had gone out of print or were in some way seen as neglected.[4] It was in this series (in 2004) that he gained attention for his highly critical look at The Catcher in the Rye.[5] A collection of the Second Reading columns was published by Europa Editions in July 2011.

Awards[edit]

Yardley was awarded the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Yardley has been a Nieman Fellow. Yardley was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by George Washington University in 1987, and a distinguished alumnus award by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989.

Bibliography[edit]


As editor

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Offman, Craig, "Washington Post Book World editor steps down", Salon.com, 15 July 1999 (Accessed 27 February 2007)
  2. ^ Subject: Why Spill Vitriol on Such a Squalid Screed?
  3. ^ Second Reading at the Washington Post
  4. ^ Full list: "Jonathan Yardley’s Second Readings", The Neglected Books Page, last accessed January 10, 2010.
  5. ^ "J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, Aging Gracelessly", by Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post, October 19, 2004; Page C01

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Yardley — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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1235 videos foundNext > 

37 news items

 
Washington Post
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:29:29 -0700

“Lafayette was born on September 6, 1757,” Laura Auricchio tells us at the beginning of “The Marquis,” but for whatever reason she neglects to tell us his full given name, an odd omission in an otherwise excellent book. She does refer to him as Gilbert ...
 
Washington Post
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 09:52:30 -0700

Matt Bai is right to see the story of Gary Hart's downfall as a singular moment in American politics. In 1987, a year before the next presidential election, Hart was widely viewed as a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination and the probable winner of ...
 
Washington Post
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 20:26:07 -0700

'The canine's nose is a masterful creation,” Rebecca Frankel writes in this exceptionally interesting and surprisingly moving book; “all earthly schnozes are not created equal, anatomically speaking. While the average dog has roughly 220 million scent ...

The New Republic

The New Republic
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:56:02 -0700

Last month, with the nonchalant flick of a Looney Tunes character tossing a match toward a pile of dynamite, Jonathan Yardley said that the writing in Karen Abbott's new book on the Civil War, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the ...
 
Washington Post
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 15:41:15 -0700

I cherish the reviews I read in The Post, and though I am partial to fiction reviews, I've admired Jonathan Yardley's reviews of nonfiction works. I was surprised and saddened to read the following sentence in his Sept. 7 review of Karen Abbott's book ...

Jezebel

Jezebel
Tue, 14 Oct 2014 12:37:55 -0700

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy was reviewed at the Washington Post by Jonathan Yardley, a Pulitzer-winning critic known for utter decisiveness; he's as glowing on Edward P. Jones's short stories as he is absolutely dismissive of Salinger in Catcher in ...
 
Washington Post (blog)
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:33:55 -0700

The other two finalists for this year's Cundill Prize are: • Richard Overy for “The Bombing War: Europe 1939-45″ (Allen Lane). Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley has called Overy “one of the most accomplished and respected historians of the war.
 
The Atlantic
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:03:45 -0700

Rebecca Frankel is an editor at Foreign Policy, a friend of our family, and the author of a great new book called War Dogs. Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post, a man who does not lightly distribute praise, gave it a very positive review in the ...
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