Finding Joy and Wonder in Every Book: Elisabeth Scharlatt

We close out this year by saying goodbye, farewell, good luck—and oh, how we’ll miss you!—to the truly incomparable Elisabeth Scharlatt. Elisabeth has been Algonquin’s publisher since 1989, and now she is retiring. Retiring after one heckuva fantastic run, thirty years of bringing great books and great authors, from Julia Alvarez and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Tayari Jones and Richard Louv to Jill McCorkle and Lee Smith and on and on and on, to readers around the world.

We know she will be the best retired person ever, finding joy and wonder around every corner. Just as she has in her publishing career. And just as she taught us all to do at Algonquin.

She delighted in every book. Every author. Every reader.

“It’s been not just fun, but a privilege, to work with a smart and creative staff to help bring such treasures to the public,” she said when announcing her retirement.

But the privilege and pleasure has been all ours, Elisabeth! Ours and all those many readers whose lives you helped make well-read.

(It’s not possible to do justice to Elisabeth—her publishing wisdom and legacy—in one little blog post so please read this interview she did with Literary Hub in 2016, too. And take a peek at one of the Algonquin gems Elisabeth loved, The Smartest Woman I Know by Ilene Beckerman, for which Elisabeth even did the illustrations herself. Though we did sneak that photo of Elisabeth onto this image below.)

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