Partner, William Morris Endeavor (WME)
The Center for Fiction is pleased to announce that literary agent Eric Simonoff, Partner of William Morris Endeavor (WME), is the recipient of its 2016 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction.
Eric Simonoff was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and grew up across the Delaware River in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He studied classics at Princeton University. Five days after graduating in 1989 he began his first job in publishing as editorial assistant to 2009 Maxwell Perkins Award recipient Gerry Howard. In 1991 he joined the literary agency Janklow & Nesbit Associates where he eventual rose to become Managing Director. In 2009 he moved to the William Morris Agency (which shortly thereafter became WME) to co-run their global book department. He has served on the board of directors of the City of New York Graduate Center and currently is a member of the board of directors of Poets & Writers Organization.
Among the clients he represents are Jhumpa Lahiri (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Interpreter of Maladies), Phil Klay (winner of the National Book Award for Redeployment), Edward P. Jones (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Known World), Karen E. Bender (National Book Award finalist for Refund), Kate Walbert (National Book Award finalist for Our Kind), Jonathan Lethem (winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Motherless Brooklyn), ZZ Packer (chosen by The New Yorker as one of the twenty best American writers under 40 and a PEN/Faulkner finalist for Drinking Coffee Elsewhere), Chris Adrian (selected by The New Yorker for the same list), Daniel Alarcon (also on The New Yorker’s list and winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for War by Candlelight), Philipp Meyer (another on The New Yorker’s list and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for The Son), Joseph Boyden (winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for Through Black Spruce), Vikram Chandra (winner of the David Higham Award and the Commonwealth Writers Award for Red Earth and Pouring Rain), Stacy Schiff (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Vera), Nam Le (winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize for The Boat), Sam Lipsyte (winner of the Believer Book Award for Home Land),Yaa Gyasi (author of the forthcoming debut novel Homegoing), in addition to bestselling authors Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, Walter Kirn, Mary-Louise Parker, Bill O’Reilly, Susan Casey, James Frey, Trenton Lee Stewart, Amanda Vaill, Danielle Trussoni, Calvin Trillin, James Bradley, Ben Mezrich, Buzz Bissinger, Karen Thompson Walker, and many others.
He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the literary agent Meredith Kaffel Simonoff, and their kids Ash and Lucy.
In 2005 the Center for Fiction established the Maxwell E. Perkins Award to honor the work of an editor, publisher, or agent who over the course of his or her career has discovered, nurtured and championed writers of fiction in the United States. This award is dedicated to Maxwell Perkins in celebration of his legacy as one of the country’s most import editors.