In the Publishers Weekly reviews department, David Varno has been named fiction reviews editor, effective November 18, replacing Gabe Habash, who will leave the company on November 15. Phoebe Cramer, who came aboard as a part-time reviews editor in August, is now full-time as an associate reviews editor, covering genre fiction. Cramer replaces Rose Fox, who has taken on a new role as director of BookLife Reviews.
Varno began his work in publishing as director of publicity for George Brazilller before receiving his MFA in fiction from Columbia University. He later served as dispatches editor at Words Without Borders and assistant book reviews editor at the Brooklyn Rail before joining PW to work in digital production. Varno has also contributed news stories, features, reviews, and author profiles to the magazine and online. He is a fiction writer and freelance book critic, and a v-p of the National Book Critics Circle.
"I couldn't be happier to have David join the reviews team," said PW executive editor Jonathan Segura, who oversees the reviews department. "He's an amazingly bright and frighteningly reliable guy, and he has great taste in books and music and just ran the marathon. Basically, he's a force."
Habash leaves Publishers Weekly after eight years with the company. He began in 2011 as a news editor, has edited the PW Tip Sheet newsletter since 2012, and has served as deputy reviews editor and fiction reviews editor since 2013. Habash is the author of the novel Stephen Florida and a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award and the ABA Indies Choice Award for Adult Debut Book of the Year. Habash will be joining the faculty at the University of Michigan, where he will teach creative writing.
"We're all going to miss Gabe. He's been instrumental in so many things here, and our fiction coverage wouldn't be what it is today without him pushing it forward," Segura said. "I can't tell you how many obscure little books he's brought into my office and demand that I read because they are brilliant. He's never been wrong."
As a result of Habash's departure, Rachel Deahl, news director, will edit author profiles.
Cramer graduated from Bard College with a degree in Written Arts. She has worked as a bookseller, a literary agency assistant, and as a book reviewer for PW.