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Parul Sehgal ’10 Named New York Times Book Critic

August 3, 2017

Parul Sehgal ’10, a Writing Program alumna and adjunct professor, will join the New York Times’s team of daily book critics, the newspaper reported last week. The news came with the announcement that Michiko Kakutani, the Times’s longtime chief book critic, would step down after writing for the paper for 38 years.

Sehgal is currently a senior editor at the New York Times Book Review. For that publication she has written essays on Daphne du Maurier and Leonora Carrington, among others. She has also written on issues relating to international and translated literature. Before joining the New York Times, Sehgal was the books editor at NPR and a senior editor at Publishers Weekly. In 2011, she received a Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. Her 2013 TED talk, “An Ode to Envy,” has been viewed more than two million times.

In a 2011 profile in the Columbia Daily Spectator, Sehgal said, of reviewing, “Only in doing book criticism are you doing criticism in the exact same mode that the book was done. Dance doesn’t have it. Music doesn’t have it.” 

In her new role, Sehgal will join the newspaper’s two other daily book critics, Dwight Garner and Jennifer Senior.