Lisa

Books impresario Lisa Lucas named publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books

Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation and soon-to-be publisher at Pantheon and Schocken Books. <span class="copyright">(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation and soon-to-be publisher at Pantheon and Schocken Books. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

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.

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Lisa Lucas, head of National Book Foundation, to join Knopf

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the organization which presents the National Book Awards is joining the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation since 2016, has been named senior vice president of the Knopf imprints Pantheon and Schocken Books.

“I love books, I love talking about them, reading about them and spreading the word about them,” Lucas said in a recent telephone interview. “And the idea that you might walk into a bookstore and see a book you published seemed this extraordinary, magical, beautiful thing.”

The 40-year-old Lucas has been widely praised for her passionate stewardship of the foundation, from organizing the annual November dinner ceremony in Manhattan for the National Book Awards to overseeing the foundation’s wide range of literary and educational programs. She will join imprints that have a long history of publishing critical and commercial successes, including works by

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