John Williams joins The Washington Post as books editor

John Williams
John Williams

Announcement from Managing Editor for Diversity and Inclusion Krissah Thompson and Deputy Features Editor Mitch Rubin:

We are thrilled to announce that John Williams is joining The Washington Post as books editor, helping to reinvigorate this important coverage area.

John will lead our award-winning nonfiction and fiction books team, hiring new writers and working with colleagues to reach new audiences. We believe in books coverage that revels in the life of the mind and big ideas and is also consumer-oriented, giving book lovers the information they need as they choose what to read.

John is a leader in books journalism. Since 2011, he has been on the Books desk at the New York Times, first as a web producer and often as a writer. He profiled Paul Beatty and James McBride, and wrote reviews of books by Zadie Smith and Sally Rooney and many more. Starting in 2016, he became the editor of the paper's staff book critics. He’s also been a mainstay of the Book Review's weekly podcast, producing and, more recently, hosting the show.

Before joining the Times, John spent six years in the editorial department of HarperCollins and later worked as a freelance writer and editor. In 2009, he started a literary website called The Second Pass, which featured reviews of new books, essays about older ones and a blog that John anchored.

John was born and raised in Oceanside, N.Y., on Long Island, where all his family roots are, before moving to Texas at age 14. He spent 12 years there, including college (Trinity University, in San Antonio), despite being a cold-weather person. After college he worked as a sports writer for newspapers in the Dallas area, often covering high school football (the equivalent, in Texas, of covering the White House).

“I couldn't be happier that it's all led me to The Post,” John says.

John lives with his partner, Aviva, in Dobbs Ferry, New York, where they moved a year ago. He enjoys baseball and apologizes in advance for being a Yankees fan; watches the Criterion Channel (and a reality TV show or two he won't admit to here); and loves live music (and recorded music), very cold martinis and lingering in used bookstores.

Please welcome him as he starts Sept. 6.


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