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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.L. 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 savage 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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16 news items

 
Washington Post
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:15:00 -0700

These words are written on a bright Saturday morning in the spring of 2014, a morning all the brighter because I have just successfully completed a wickedly difficult crossword puzzle dreamed up by Evan Birnholz for the New York Times. Devotees of that ...

New York Times

New York Times
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 19:03:45 -0700

Reviewing the book in The Post, Jonathan Yardley wrote, “It certainly is difficult to escape the conclusion that we have here the makings of a late-blooming Flannery O'Connor.” He added, “ 'Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail' is a breathtakingly ...
 
Washington Post
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:56:15 -0700

Typhus was the scourge of humankind for centuries, taking the lives of untold millions, but today it “can be controlled with a single dose of a common antibiotic like doxycycline,” Arthur Allen reports, so it has vanished except “in a few cold ...
 
Washington Post
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:26:15 -0700

Twenty-five years ago this week — July 19, 1989 — United Airlines Flight 232 from Denver to Chicago experienced extreme mechanical malfunction while at a cruising height of 37,000 feet. Its cockpit crew made a heroic effort to bring the DC-10 under ...
 
expressandstar.com
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 04:34:13 -0700

Tettenhall Regis Councillor Jonathan Yardley, who is on Wolverhampton City Council's planning committee, said: “Representatives from McCarthy & Stone are in talks with council officers regarding their plans for the site, although the two parties are ...
 
Concord Monitor
Sat, 05 Jul 2014 22:48:45 -0700

main title: subtitle by author (pages, price); Tulane University President Scott Cowen talks about the damage to his school during his tour of. By JONATHAN YARDLEY. For the Washington Post. Sunday, July 6, 2014 (Published in print: Sunday, July 6, 2014).

New York Times

New York Times
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 22:16:33 -0700

“At the dawn of the 1960s the literature of baseball was paltry,” the critic Jonathan Yardley wrote in The Washington Post in 2004. “Some good fiction had been inspired by the game, notably Ring Lardner's 'You Know Me Al' and Bernard Malamud's 'The ...
 
Sports Central
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 06:31:46 -0700

Jonathan Yardley, the nonpareil literary critic of The Washington Post, isolated the point 10 years ago, when reviewing The Long Season retroactively in 2004, upon its fresh republication (in hand with Pennant Race) in quality paperback: "The book was ...
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