Pamela Paul

Pamela Paul Earl Wilson / The New York Times

Pamela Paul is the editor of The New York Times Book Review, and the author of Parenting Inc., Pornified, and The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony. Prior to joining the Times, Paul was a contributor to Time magazine and The Economist and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Vogue, and Psychology Today. She and her family live in New York.



  • Pamela Paul on editing By the Book

    Pamela Paul, editor of The New York Times Book Review, discusses 'By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review.'




Q & A

Where are you from?

New York


Who are your favorite writers?

George Eliot, Thomas Mann, Tolstoy, Edith Wharton, William Dean Howells, Joan Didion, Marjane Satrapi, Henry James, George Orwell, David Lodge


What are your favorite books?

Middlemarch, War and Peace, The House of Mirth, Portrait of a Lady, big fat presidential biographies


Which book/books have had the biggest influence on your writing?

James B. Stewart’s Follow the Story, and lots of George Orwell


Which teacher had the biggest impact on your life? 

James Morone at Brown University


What’s the best baby advice you have received?

My friend Holly told me, “Relax. Our parents didn’t do half the things we do with our kids and we turned out fine.”


My friend Amy told me to savor all the cute things your kids are doing right now because those cute things will go away. New cute habits and idiosyncrasies will pop up, but you’ll still miss the old ones.


What’s your favorite piece of advice to new parents?

On a practical level: Borrow, recycle, and reuse.


On an emotional level: Focus on where your children are, not on where they’re going.


And for second-time parents: Forget everything you thought you knew about babies. What you know is all about your first baby. Now you have to learn from scratch about your second one.


What inspired you to write your first book?

Sadly, the end of my first marriage.


Where do you write?




By the Book

Edited and with an introduction by Pamela Paul; foreword by Scott Turow

Sixty-five of the world’s leading writers open up about the books and authors that have meant the most to themEvery Sunday, readers of The New York Times Book Review turn...

Available 10/28/2014Pre-Order

Parenting, Inc.

Pamela Paul

A leading social critic goes inside the billion-dollar baby business to expose the marketing and the myths, helping parents determine what’s worth their money—and what’s...



Pamela Paul

“Strips porn of its culture-war claptrap . . . Pornified may stand as a Kinsey Report for our time.”—San Francisco ChroniclePorn in America is...