Ahmad to Leave Akashic, Named Exec Editor at Viking

After two decades at Akashic Books, Ibrahim Ahmad, the Brooklyn indie press's editorial director, will join Viking as executive editor effective January 11, reporting to Andrea Schulz.

I owe an immense debt of gratitude to the Akashic team for showing such faith in me from the moment I volunteered to 'help out' there as a teenager two decades ago; yet it feels like a logical next step to now join Viking—an organization that, like Akashic, smartly blends risk-taking and an iconoclastic spirit with the demands of the marketplace," Ahmad said in a statement to PW. "At such a momentous and extraordinary time of change for this business, I look forward to bringing my unique background and experience to bear in shaping new avenues for writers who give us different perspectives to better understand the many challenges facing our world."

At Akashic, Ahmad published a globe-spanning list of authors including Kwame Dawes, Tayari Jones, Marlon James, Amiri Baraka, China Miéville, Melvin Van Peebles, Bernardine Evaristo, Joyce Carol Oates, Ben Okri, and Edwidge Danticat. At Viking, he will acquire an "eclectic range" of literary and crime fiction, with a "particular focus on incendiary, urgent voices that subvert and expand the existing literature," and nonfiction in categories including current affairs, politics, and pop culture, the publisher said. He will continue to serve as cochair of the Brooklyn Book Festival’s Fiction Committee.

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