New York Times on Luiz Schwarcz’s Memoir

A Publishing Superstar Whose Memoir Shuns Glitz to Explore Private Torment

In “The Absent Moon,” Luiz Schwarcz, a legendary Brazilian publisher and global tastemaker, shares little of the glamorous life, focusing instead on the lifelong pain of clinical depression.

By Sadie Stein

Kazuo Ishiguro called him “lovely.” Andrew Solomon said he “raises the level of discourse across the country.” Salman Rushdie, who has not been in the habit of giving interviews while recovering from an attack, made an exception, calling him “a warm and deeply emotional human being” whose “cultural span is broad and deep.” He added, “I love him very much.”

The man in question, Luiz Schwarcz, is that most exotic of creatures, a publishing celebrity. He founded Companhia das Letras, the largest publisher in Brazil, but his influence can be felt across the literary world, where he has a reputation as a tastemaker with the power to make an author’s career.

With his wife, the anthropologist Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, Luiz Schwarcz is a central figure of Brazil’s intelligentsia, but also part of a cadre of publishing luminaries who broker deals on a global scale — “a creature of Frankfurt,” according to his longtime friend Jonathan Galassi, executive editor of the publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

“There are few people in publishing who really stand for quality and the enduring value of remarkable work,” said the literary agent Andrew Wylie. “Luiz is one of that very small number of people.” Read the full piece at the New York Times.

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