Amazon Publishing has unveiled a new series called Icons that will feature short biographies of significant figures. The series will be co-edited by Amazon Publishing senior editor Ed Park and author (as well as a former publisher) James Atlas. Icons will, in its first year, feature 10 titles to be released on a bi-monthly schedule. The first Icons title, a biography of Jesus by Jay Parini, is on track for a December 2013 publication. The series announcement follows Altlas's March 2012 move to Amazon Publishing; at the time of his hire, Amazon said he would oversee a line of short biographies.
Describing the series, Amazon said it will be hiring "celebrated authors" to write about "canonical figures." To that end, the subjects to be covered in the first year of the series range from Stalin to David Lynch to J.D. Salinger to Alfred Hitchcock. Describing the series further, Atlas said Icons addresses a current interest in the biography genre. "In a time when our fascination with the private aspects of public lives is so intense, it’s not surprising that biography has become one of the most prominent forms of narrative nonfiction."