Sarah Lewis, the editor who chose Becoming’s candid yet easy-to-digest memoir by Michelle Obama, is starting her own imprint at Crown Publishing Group, she told the New York Times Magazine in a profile that ran this weekend. Crown and DreamWorks are co-publishing the memoir that was co-written by David Remnick, the New Yorker’s executive editor. Lewis, a longtime editor at Penguin Press, started at Crown as a young editor and worked as chief editor until she was promoted to an editor-in-chief position. She led one of Penguin’s most prized authors in its most lucrative efforts, Tom Wolfe’s This is Water, Anthony Weiner’s Year of Wonders, and self-help books from Tracy Kidder, Jim Rohn, and Willa Cather. When Penguin announced the imprint in 2012, Laura Halperin, the editor at the time, wrote that Lewis’s own “good instincts” would influence her book selection.
“People are constantly turning to book clubs,” Lewis told the Times, referring to Oprah Winfrey’s book club. “[But] you really need somebody that can dive deep into a book and dive deeply and write about where the author is emotionally.”
Lewis will continue to consult on future books, such as Oprah’s Club Book Club recipient Elton John’s recently finished memoir, according to the Times. That book, The Diving Board, is still reportedly in the editing process. It’s expected to be released in the U.S. next year.