Pamela Dorman ’79

I was an English major at Wesleyan, though my thesis was on Dante,  and in the spring of my senior year, I was on the horns of a dilemma: go to graduate school in literature, or go into publishing, a field to which my father, a writer, had introduced me when I used to visit his editors’ offices with him.  I remembered seeing all these young women at typewriters and thought, “How great—they get paid to read!”  Back on Fountain Avenue where I lived senior year, I had a whole stack of catalogues from different grad schools on my closet floor. One day, I  just picked them up and threw them into the trash. That was it—book publishing was it.

I've spent most of my career at Penguin (now Penguin Random House)  and now head Pamela Dorman Books/Viking—and the only difference between my pleasure reading and my work is whether I'm absorbed in fiction that's already been published or in a manuscript we are considering. Wesleyan—and its writers and book lovers—remains an important part of my life. Last year, my husband, Stuart Krichevsky (who represents Sebastian Junger ’84) and I had a great time at the Wesleyan Writers Conference. At work, I'm surrounded by Cardinals:  Allison Lorentzen ’03, Caitlin O’Shaughnessy ’08, Linda Cowen ’85, and Molly Barton ’00—and I stay in good touch with Laura Walker ’79,  Barbara Grunbaum ’80, and others from my class.