Vanity Fair book columnist and contributing editor Elissa Schappell is leaving the magazine after more than two decades in order to focus on her own writing.
“After twenty plus years as Vanity Fair’s book columnist I am bidding them fond farewell,” Ms. Schappell announced in a Facebook post. “As Chris Rock says, ‘You can’t be great on the side’ and I always heed Chris’ advice.”
The author of two short-story collections and a co-founder of Tin House, the Portland-based literary magazine, Ms. Schappell’s book column “Hot Type”— a snappy monthly roundup of new, must-read titles—has been a longtime staple of the magazine.
“I will always be deeply grateful to VF for providing me, a very new and very much untested writer, with the means to pursue a writing career, and a gigantic platform from which to hustle my agenda. That power has made the hours spent crow-barring a ridiculous number of books on to a page–or increasingly, less than that–worth it,” Ms. Schappell wrote. “The opportunities afforded to me, most recently getting to interview Elena Ferrante, are too numerous to name, and month after month, a reminder that I am not doing the thing I most want to do which is write.”
Ms. Schappell, who started her writing career at Graydon Carter and Kurt Andersen’s beloved satirical magazine Spy, is one half of an old-school Brooklyn literary power couple—her husband, Tin House co-founder and editor Rob Spillman’s recent memoir All Tomorrow’s Parties was met with a flurry of enthusiastic reviews.
News of Ms. Schappell’s departure will be run in the next issue of Vanity Fair, she wrote in her Facebook announcement. We reached out toVanity Fair to find out whether the Condé Nast-owned title plants to name a replacement, but have not heard back.
Hopefully, Ms. Schappell’s departure does not mean the end of regular book coverage.