3 of 10
Max Perkins: Editor of Genius
512 pages; NAL
Few brilliant novelists were as charismatic, tormented and in desperate need of help as Thomas Wolfe, whose 1929 novel, Look Homeward, Angel, was a reckless, massive 1,100-page manuscript until editor Maxwell Perkins cut it down to size. In Genius, out June 10, Colin Firth plays Perkins and Jude Law plays Wolfe during the riveting time period during which the author struggles to finish his second novel, despite his confusions and carousing. The movie has plenty of high drama, but check out Berg's stellar biography of Perkins, which captures the entire era of American history when novelists were legit celebrities and Maxwell was a guiding force in the lives of two other novelists with high-maintenance personalities, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. 
— Mark Athitakis