hilip Gourevitch, a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and the author of an acclaimed account of the effects of the 1994 massacres in Rwanda, was appointed yesterday as editor of The Paris Review, the esteemed literary quarterly that for decades was edited by George Plimpton.
The appointment opens a new chapter for the magazine, which has a circulation of about 10,000. Since Mr. Plimpton died in September 2003, the Review has suffered internal turmoil and dissension among its staff and board members of the foundation that oversees it.
Two months ago, the board decided not to renew the contract of Brigid Hughes, who had succeeded Mr. Plimpton as the magazine's top editor in January 2004. At the time, board members said that they wanted a better-known literary figure at the helm, someone who could raise The Paris Review's profile by attracting new writers as well as supporters who could contribute to its financial success. Ms. Hughes's contract expires this month.
Mr. Gourevitch (pronounced gor-A-vitch) said in an interview that he applied for the job because of his fondness for "a magazine with a great legacy that does not need to be remade so much as revitalized."
"The magazine has stayed very fresh in some rapidly changing times, and it did it by sticking to a clear sense of publishing the best material it could find," he added. He said he would add new features, including a portfolio of poems by a single poet rather than single poems by many poets throughout an issue.
The magazine will also include more reported nonfiction articles, he said. Interviews of famous writers by their peers, one of the magazine's most renowned features, would continue, he said.
James Goodale, a board member of The Paris Review Foundation, which oversees the magazine, said that Mr. Gourevitch's plans for the magazine "in large part followed the path of The Paris Review as it has been put out for many years," adding that he would have "carte blanche" to put his plans into effect.
Mr. Gourevitch is the author of "We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories From Rwanda," published in 1998 and which won numerous prizes, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and a George Polk Award, as well as "A Cold Case," in 2001. Both books were published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.