Lisa Lucas didn’t want to leave her job as executive director of the National Book Foundation, which hands out the prestigious National Book Awards every year, but when the offer from Pantheon came, she simply couldn’t refuse.
“It felt important enough to become more uncomfortable — if that makes sense,” Lucas said in a phone interview. “I could not be more excited, but it is an interesting sort of feeling. The bus comes and you get on or you don’t. It’s the bus I’ve dreamed of my whole life. It just came at a time I did not expect.”
Reagan Arthur, the executive vice president and publisher in charge of Knopf, Pantheon and Schocken Books, began discussing the position with Lucas over the phone in early June.