Hugh Hefner (1926–2017): A literary legacy of sex-supported fiction publishing


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An obituary. Many of us don’t realize this, but Playboy has published some solid literary pieces from great writers.

Early on, as Josh Lambert reported in Tablet in 2010, Hef was frustrated and disappointed by anti-semitism and stifled by the hiring practices at Esquire. In response, he happily hired some of the country’s top Jewish editors: Nat LehrmanSheldon WaxArthur Kretchmer, and August Comte Spectorsky. But Playboy didn’t become a prestigious venue for literary writing until the sixties, under the eye of editor Robie Macauley, who attracted bylines from some of the greatest science fiction writers of the day — Arthur C. ClarkeRay BradburyIsaac Assimov, and many others. With numerous Nebula nominations and wins, Playboy became synonymous with quality sci-fi.

The complete article

Peter Clark — Melville House

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