Steve Wasserman, a director of literary agency Kneerim & Williams at Fish & Richardson and manager of its New York office, is a former editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review and a principal architect of the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, from 1996 to 2005. Before joining the newspaper, Steve was for six years the editorial director of Times Books when it was a division of Random House Inc. Among the numerous authors he worked with were President Bill Clinton, Ted Koppel, Theodore Draper, Basil Davidson, Sister Souljah and Robert J. Samuelson.
Before joining Times Books, Steve was publisher and editorial director of Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc. Among his notable achievements there were the publication of that imprint’s first national best-seller in 30 years, “Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences,” by John Allen Paulos. Steve also headed FSG’s Noonday Press, the firm’s trade paperback imprint, overseeing both nonfiction and fiction titles.
Steve is also a former editor in chief of New Republic Books, a subsidiary of New Republic magazine and a co-publishing venture with Basic Books.
For five years, from 1978 through 1983, Steve was assistant editor of the Op-Ed Page and Sunday Opinion section of the Los Angeles Times, working with such writers as Gore Vidal, Greil Marcus, Herbert Gold and Ronald Steel, among others.
Steve is a founder and co-director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at the University of Southern California and has taught advanced nonfiction writing at USC’s Professional Writing Program. He has also taught cultural criticism at the Graduate School of Journalism of the University of California, Berkeley. In 2002, Steve chaired the nominating jury for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction; in 2004, he was a member of the nominating jury for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. He also served for nearly a decade on the jury for the annual literary prizes awarded by the Commonwealth Club of California.
Wasserman served for nearly three years, from 2007-2010, as Truthdig’s Book Editor, in which capacity Truthdig garnered two consecutive Maggies for its reviews.
He is currently a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities and is an adjunct professor in NYU’s Department of Cultural Reporting and Journalism.