Sara B. Franklin, "The Editor: How Publishing Legend Judith Jones Shaped Culture in America" (Atria, 2024)


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 colorful biography of legendary editor Judith Jones. When Judith Jones began working at Doubleday’s Paris office in 1949, the twenty-five-year-old spent most of her time 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, Madhur Jaffrey, James Beard, and, most famously, Julia Child. Jones celebrated 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 and career is explored for the first time. Based on exclusive interviews, never-before-seen personal papers, and years of research, The Editor: How Publishing Legend Judith Jones Shaped Culture in America (Atria, 2024) 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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Kendall Dinniene

Kendall Dinniene is a PhD candidate in English at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Their dissertation will examine how American fiction variously affirms, complicates, and resists dominant notions of fatness, and reveals how these notions are intertwined with and produce ideas about race, gender, sexuality, health, (dis)ability, criminality, and national identity. Their work relies upon queer theory, crip theory, Black feminism, and fat studies scholarship alongside literary criticism to argue that how we understand fatness is crucial to the way we understand (and make) our world.

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