The Book of the Week is “My Mistake” by Daniel Menaker, published in 2013. This is the autobiography of a well-educated Northeastern American male typical for his generation who, born in the 1940’s, entered the publishing profession. However, his mother was exceptional for her generation in that she was an editor at Fortune magazine.
At the then-academically rigorous Swarthmore College, during spring of his senior year, Menaker was “… taking Honors exams– eight three-hour written exams and eight oral exams, all administered by professors from other colleges.” He spent most of his career at The New Yorker, and then switched to Random House about a year after Tina Brown took over the magazine in 1992. He wrote that she halved the quantity of fictional stories appearing in the publication, and employees of both the fiction and nonfiction sections competed with each other in kissing up to her to get their pieces published.
Read the book to learn the details of Menaker’s work, of a traumatic event involving his older brother, and his bout with cancer.