L. Rust Hills

American, 1924 - 2008

Lawrence Rust Hills was an American author and fiction editor at Esquire from 1957 to 1964, though he remained associated with the magazine until 1999. Authors he championed include Norman Mailer, John Cheever, William Styron, Bruce Jay Friedman, William Gaddis, James Salter, Don DeLillo, Joy Williams, Ann Beattie, Richard Ford, Raymond Carver and E. Annie Proulx.

His 1972 book How To Do Things Right: The Revelations of a Fussy Man was a set of humorous essays filled with obsessively-detailed instructions on, for example, the correct way to make and eat milk-toast. In 1974 he edited “Writer’s Choice” a collection of short stories. The writers included picked their personal favorite of their own work. Contributors included Updike, Mailer, Capote, Southern, Barth and Roth.His 1979 book Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular outlined his views on short story craft.

Hills attended Kenyon College for one year and received a B.A. and M.A. from Wesleyan University in 1948 and 1949, respectively.