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January 20, 2005

Gray Lady Steers Dangerously Close to Risque Humor

by Ron Hogan

"Plimpton's Big Shoes Are Vacant Yet Again" reads the headline in today's NYT arts section, detailing the non-renewal of Paris Review editor Brigid Hughes contract by the nonprofit foundation set up to run the magazine after Plimpton's death. Although Ed Wyatt states quite frankly, "Thomas H. Guinzburg, the president of the foundation that oversees the publication, said yesterday that the board had decided not to renew Ms. Hughes's contract," two paragraphs later the development is characterized as a "resignation," only to be restored by article's end to "the decision to change editors." Aspiring writers who pored over Maud Newton's interview with Hughes last summer are now frantically adjusting their submission strategies, especially since the suggested trends towards nonfiction and theme issues don't seem quite the way Hughes's editorial vision was described last summer.

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