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Golden Hour Books

The Editor: How Legendary Editor Judith Jones Shaped Culture in America by Sara B. Franklin (5/28/24)

The Editor: How Legendary Editor Judith Jones Shaped Culture in America by Sara B. Franklin (5/28/24)

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Legendary editor Judith Jones, the woman behind some of the most important authors of the 20th century—including Julia Child, Anne Frank, Edna Lewis, John Updike, and Sylvia Plath—finally gets her due in this intimate biography.

When twenty-five-year-old Judith Jones began working as a secretary at Doubleday’s newly opened Paris office in 1949, she was tasked with wading through manuscripts in the slush pile until one caught her eye. She read the book in one sitting, then begged her boss to consider publishing it. A year later, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl became a bestseller. It was the start of a culture defining career in publishing.

Over more than half a century as an editor at Knopf, Jones became a legend, nurturing future literary icons such as Sylvia Plath, Anne Tyler, and John Updike. At the forefront of the cookbook revolution, she published the who’s who of food writing: Edna Lewis, M.F.K. Fisher, Claudia Roden, Madhur Jaffrey, James Beard, and, most famously, Julia Child. Jones celebrated the art and pleasures of cooking and culinary diversity, forever changing the way Americans think about food.

Her work spanned the decades of America’s most dramatic cultural change. From the end of World War II through the Cold War; from the civil rights movement to the fight for women’s equality, Jones’s work questioned convention, using books as a tool of quiet resistance.

Now, her astonishing career is explored for the first time. Based on exclusive interviews, never-before-seen personal papers, and years of research, The Editor tells the riveting behind-the-scenes narrative of how stories are made, finally bringing to light the audacious life of one of our most influential tastemakers.

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