David L. Ulin’s new role at the Los Angeles Times


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David L. Ulin, Times book editor for the last five years, is shifting gears and taking on a new role with the Los Angeles Times as book critic.

In an announcement made Thursday to the newsroom, Assistant Managing Editor of Features Alice Short called it “a natural step” for Ulin to make, citing his background both as an author (“The Myth of Solid Ground: Earthquakes, Prediction and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith”) and as an editor (his anthologies included the award-winning “Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology”) before coming to the Times in 2005.


Ulin says he’s excited by the challenges of this new position. He’s also proud of how, under his watch, the Times’ book coverage went online, adding several columns devoted to popular genres, establishing the blog Jacket Copy and thinking about books “in a multimedia environment.”

Ulin notes how, in the last five years, The Times’ book coverage has also been able to focus on “independent presses and lesser known writers and literary fiction, at a time when many papers were looking to cover other kinds of books.”

Though Ulin’s role is changing, Short said in the announcement that he will “continue to work with the editors of the Book Review and be a guiding light for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.”

Ulin’s work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the Atlantic Monthly, Newsday and the Nation, as well as on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” His new book, “The Lost Art of Reading” -- which grew out of a widely read essay that appeared in The Times in August -- is forthcoming in November.

-- from the Times staff

David L. Ulin in 2002, after the publication of “Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology.” Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

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