Lydia Kiesling Is the New Editor of The Millions

March 29, 2016 | 19 2 min read

We have some news.

I am very pleased to announce that starting today, our longtime staff writer Lydia Kiesling will be moving down the virtual hall and taking over my virtual office as editor of The Millions.

Lydia has been a vital part of this project since 2009 and so recalls the tail-end of our “book blog” days and has been a major contributor to the site’s transformation and growth over the subsequent six-plus years. She is a special talent, and I have complete confidence in her ability to inject new energy and ideas into The Millions while maintaining the quality and tone that we are known for. Lydia’s unique voice and intelligence has won over new readers to The Millions even as she has become a writer to watch beyond the confines of this magazine. I don’t doubt that Lydia will surpass what I have done as editor.

I am moving on because it was time to move on. Thirteen years is an epoch and I am rather set in my ways. I owe it to The Millions and our readers to open the door for something new.

What should you expect? We are not planning any big overhaul or shift in focus, but you will soon see a new and vital editorial voice underpinning what we do.

If you write for or pitch pieces to the site, or communicate with me in my capacity as editor, those inquiries should now all go to [email protected] I can still be reached for inquiries related to the business side of The Millions and other inquiries not related to editorial.

Please join me in welcoming Lydia!

Thanks for everything.


Here are some words from our new editor in chief:

I’m thrilled to be stepping into Max’s shoes! The Millions is one of the most meaningful presences in my life–not only because it’s allowed me to fumble toward my own voice as a writer, but because it’s afforded a glimpse of the amazing multiverse of readers and writers that find a common home online.

This site has been a part-time labor of love carried out with full-time intensity for more than a decade. Briefly, it’s my hope to continue Max’s support for an incredible group of staff writers and editors, to be proactive in the search for new voices, and, ideally, to find ways to pay more people more money. Above all, I want to keep the lights on, not only for excellent, unmissable book coverage, but for those signature Millions essays–things that seem unlikely and unpitchable, and wind up being unforgettable. I can only hope to live up to Max’s very high standard.

This is the byline used for site announcements and for articles by more than one Millions contributor.


  1. Congratulations to both of you. The end of an era, and the beginning of an era. Sort of a Greg Kinnear to Joel McHale thing. Or Kilborn to Stewart. I guess what I mean is the new one is going to be better. Books!

  2. Can I still call myself Mrs. Millions? :)
    Best of luck Lydia, I’m very excited for you!
    – Lauren

  3. Wow! The Editor is dead! Long live the Editor! Mr. Magee, you have been awesome — The Millions is always the first place I go to and am never disappointed. Thank you for creating and maintaining this marvelous tower of Babel for book lovers. You leave a pretty big hole! Wishing you the best in your new endeavors. You, too, Mrs.Millions.

    Ms. Kiesling, if we must pass the scepter and orb, so happy it is to you!

  4. The times they are a changin’. Change is OK, especially when it means Lydia Kiesling is involved. I have been reading The Millions since the beginning. Some of the most intelligent book coverage on the Web. May you go on for much longer!

  5. Congratulations and best of luck to you! And thanks to you, Mr. Magee for your excellent work and dedication.

    Maureen Murphy (Moe Murph)

  6. This place and the sensibilities and spirit of those who make it work mean a great deal, and set a pretty high bar.

    Max, we hardly knew ye, but the Millions is a helluva thing. Good on you.

    And Lydia: good on you, too. Looking forward to it.

  7. I hate change! But Lydia, judging from the essay you wrote on Purity, you are a good critic, measured and able to see beyond hype, to get to the heart of a book. The Millions is a great community of writers; I think it is one of the best book websites. I think iy has exceeded many of the broadsheets for quality of reviewing. The contributors are of a high standard, the reviews are astute, sometimes funny, sometimes controversial, and opinions shared in the comment section are sometimes curmudgeonly, usually enthusiastic, often spot on and always respectful. Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Millions for creating this site, and on your retirement.

  8. Wow, there’s a shock. Max, thank you for building this remarkable literary website, where I’ve discovered so many new favorite writers, been entertained and informed in a multitude of ways by the excellent craft and personal essays that appear here. A well-deserved rest, sir–enjoy it!
    And Lydia, I’ve always loved your essays for this site, particularly your Modern Library revues, which often made me feel as though I were re-reading those classics through your eyes. I can’t wait to see how you guide this hallowed site. Best of luck!

  9. This is great. Lydia’s one of the best lit-writers and critics on the webs. I only hope this doesn’t mean we’ll see *less* of her writing here…

  10. Max,

    I’ve been reading The Millions for 10 years now, and I cannot thank you enough for what you’ve built as editor. Thank you for everything, and I wish you all the best in your future efforts.

    With sincere gratitude,

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