After a long run in Los Angeles, veteran journalist and editor Maria Russo is headed back to New York City. Starting Aug. 4, she will be the children’s book editor for the The New York Times Book Review.
Here’s the memo from TBR editor Pamela Paul and deputy editor David Kelly:
Maria is a veteran of TBR, having filled in as a preview editor under Chip McGrath, and a native New Yorker. She was first brought in as a freelance book reviewer by Dwight Garner, whom Maria succeeded as books editor at Salon. Maria is also a former features editor at the New York Observer.
Despite all her New York cred, for the past 10 years, Maria has been working in Los Angeles, where she was most recently the editor in chief of Pasadena magazine. Before that, she was an editor in the Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times. Maria has also published widely as a freelancer, writing for the Magazine and the Book Review, among other venues.
For the Times, she most recently reviewed Michael Cunningham’s The Snow Queen, and notably, given her new job, the middle grade novel, Wonder. In that review, she wrote, “By the time this rich and memorable first novel by R. J. Palacio is over, it’s not just Auggie but everyone around him who has changed.” The book went on to become a national bestseller.
Maria will be relocating to New York with her husband and three children, who, she points out, conveniently fall into YA, middle-grade and picture-book territory respectively. Please join us in welcoming Maria, who will begin August 4th.
Russo’s husband Matthew DeBord has also, very impressively, already landed a new job. As of yesterday, he is the transportation editor for Business Insider. Congrats to both, and see you soon in NYC.