2018 Perkins Award Winner

Sonny Mehta

Chairman & Editor in Chief

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

 

The Center for Fiction is pleased to announce that Sonny Mehta is the recipient of its 2018 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction. 

 

Ajai Singh "Sonny" Mehta is Editor in Chief of Alfred A. Knopf Publishers. He is also Chairman of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which includes Knopf, Doubleday, Nan A. Talese, Pantheon, Schocken, Vintage/Anchor, and Everyman's Library.


Since his arrival at Knopf in 1987, Sonny has maintained and enhanced the house's international reputation for literature and bookmaking of the highest quality. He is also highly regarded for his innovative direction of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, particularly for the complete redesign and expansion of Vintage Books. Long a quality trade paperback publisher, it is now the leader in its field. In 1991, he orchestrated the relaunch of Everyman's Library—one of the most extensive and distinguished libraries of classics in the world—in beautifully printed, affordable hardcover editions. During his time at Knopf, Sonny has worked with and published many notable authors, including John Banville, Bill Buford, Peter Carey, Bill Clinton, William Dalrymple, Katherine Dunn, James Ellroy, Nora Ephron, Katharine Graham, Robert Harris, Carl Hiaasen, Kazuo Ishiguro, P. D. James, Stieg Larsson, Rohinton Mistry, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Jo Nesbo, Michael Ondaatje,  Graham Swift, and Anne Tyler. Under Mehta’s watch, Knopf has published Toni Morrison, V.S. Naipaul, Alice Munro, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Richard Russo, Orhan Pamuk, Anne Rice, and Cormac McCarthy, among others. 


Under Sonny's leadership, Knopf Doubleday authors have been awarded 34 Pulitzer Prizes, 12 National Book Awards, 30 National Book Critics Circle Awards, 6 Man Booker Prizes, and 3 Nobel Prizes. In 2011, the London Book Fair presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in international publishing.


Born in India in 1942, Sonny was educated at the Lawrence School, Sanawar, and at Cambridge University. Prior to joining Knopf, he worked with such notable authors as Ryszard Kapuscinski, Germaine Greer, and Douglas Adams. He began his publishing career in London as an Editorial Assistant at Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd., before going on to found Paladin Books. Following that, he was Editorial Director of Granada Paperbacks, comprising the Panther, Mayflower, and Paladin imprints. In 1972, he served as Editorial Director and, later, Publishing Director of Pan Books, where he was instrumental in establishing the highly successful Picador trade paperback imprint.

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About The 

 Perkins Award

 

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.

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  • VIBHUTI Patel Posted on June 21, 2018 15:33Congratulations, Mr. Mehta! So proud of your achievements, the marvelous books you have published, the authors you have launched and nurtured. Thank you for all that you have done for ordinary readers world wide. Best, Vibhuti Patel
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