Thank you, LitHub, for this wonderful interview with Graywolf's Jeff Shotts, who has worked with so many amazing writers: Maggie Nelson, Leslie Jamison, Eula Biss, Claudia Rankine, and more. Huge respect for his work and outlook:
"I don’t believe editors should impose themselves upon a book. That suggests an adversarial approach, rather than one of advocacy and respect. The writer and the editor are at the mutual endeavor of lifting up a literary work to its readers. It may seem obvious, but the writer writes and the editor edits. The book is the writer’s work, and the editor’s work is to listen very, very carefully to the work and to the writer—carefully enough that the editor makes suggestions, ideally, inside and with the writer’s voice. Looked at that way, editing becomes an act of empathy."