Richard Eder, book critic for the Los Angeles Times since 1986, is retiring at the age of 66. In 1987, he earned the Pulitzer Prize for criticism and, that same year, received the annual citation of the National Book Critics Circle. Eder, who reviewed 70 to 80 novels and story collections a year, has, as Murray Kempton described it, "heroic confidence that his personal taste is quite enough to satisfy a fair number of the rest of us," rare in a news media critic today.

In a second-page column titled "Reluctant Farewell," L.A. Times book editor Steve Wasserman credited Eder for his "belief that great writing matters greatly" and spoke generally for the world of modern U.S. letters in saying that Eder will be sorely missed.