Meet the Editor: Alan G. Thomas, Editorial Director

October 5th, 2017

Alan G. Thomas is Editorial Director at University of Chicago Press. His subjects include literature; literary studies; media and cultural studies. Learn more at

Tell us about a book you discovered at a formative age that helped develop your sensibility.
When I was 17, someone gave me the little book of Robert Frank’s photographs in Aperture’s History of Photography series. I believe it was the first photography book I owned. Frank’s images are lodged deep in my consciousness.
Tell us about a book you find yourself rereading, reconsidering, or otherwise haunted by.
Wallace Stevens’s The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play, is for me a bottomless book, especially “The Auroras of Autumn.”
Tell us about a book you admire that we wouldn’t expect to find in your library.
Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Autumn. Well, that’s not so unusual, but what you wouldn’t expect is that my copy is signed by Wilco’s Glenn Kotche (a long story).
What book from your list is a well-kept secret that deserves a larger readership?
Since each is barely 100 pages long, let me stretch a point and name three: Roger Grenier’s book of personal reflections on photography and photographers, A Box of Photographs; Mary Ann Caws’s sexy and beautifully illustrated anthology, Surrealist Love Poems; and Thomas Bernhard’s book of 104 scabrous short stories, The Voice Imitator.
What was the last book you discovered at the Seminary Co-op or 57th Street Books?
Teju Cole’s Blind Spot.
What author, living or dead, would you like to dress up as for Halloween?
Keith Richards.

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