World-renowned critic Michiko Kakutani is stepping down as The New York Times chief book reviewer, Vanity Fair reported Thursday. Kakutani, a Pulitzer Prize winner, began at the Times in 1979 as a reporter before switching to criticism. In her 40 years there, she's helped make (and break) many literary careers—including George Saunders, Mary Karr, David Foster Wallace, and Zadie Smith. Her last review at the Times was published Tuesday. She has worked in the political sphere as well, conducting Barack Obama’s exit interview, writing on 9/11, and the memoirs of George Bush and the Clintons.