On July 27, exactly two years to the date since she took over Simon & Schuster's flagship imprint, Dana Canedy will leave her position as senior v-p and publisher to "focus on her writing," S&S president and CEO Jonathan Karp wrote in a letter to staff.
"Over the past two years, Dana Canedy has improved and bolstered the Simon & Schuster imprint in innumerable ways: by attracting incredibly talented authors and editors; by offering us fresh eyes on our practices through her perspective as an award-winning journalist and bestselling author; and by bringing vitality, voice, and humanity to Simon & Schuster," Karp wrote. "Although we will miss working day-to-day with Dana, I fully support her decision to devote herself to this project, which I'm sure will ultimately be a great benefit to Simon & Schuster and multitudes of readers."
The "project" is a sequel to Canedy's memoir A Journal for Jordan, which was adapted by Denzel Washington into a movie last year, which Canedy co-produced. S&S has acquired the rights to the book, which it will publish in 2024. With her departure, Karp, Canedy's predecessor as publisher of the S&S imprint, will retake the reins "for the foreseeable future."
Since taking over the imprint, Canedy, a former New York Times journalist and previous administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes and the first Black person to lead S&S, has made her mark on the editorial department. Her hires included LaSharah Bunting and Mindy Marqués as v-ps and executive editors; Tim O'Connell as v-p and editorial director of fiction; and Yahdon Israel and Olivia Taylor Smith as senior editors. In addition, she acquired former vice president Mike Pence's autobiography last year in a move that was criticized both in-house and by other industry members, although S&S has stood by her decision.
Canedy, Karp said, will continue to be available "for consultation on any publishing matters." In addition, she will see through the publication of books by Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Eugene Robinson, as well as the Pence.
"It has been so rewarding to work with the talented, dedicated, and truly collegial staff at Simon & Schuster," she said, adding: “I had not quite expected the profound impact that our movie would have on me. And after the overwhelming response to it, prompting daily requests for a follow-up to my first book, I concluded that the time is right to write the sequel to A Journal for Jordan. Knowing as I do the quality and the pride that Simon & Schuster applies to every book it publishes, I can also think of no better home for my next book."