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Judith Jones Dies: Editor of Literary and Culinary Masterpieces Was 93

Image: Judith Jones Dies: Editor of Literary and Culinary Masterpieces Was 93

In this May 8, 2006 file photo, Knopf editor Judith Jones delivers her acceptance speech after she received the lifetime achievement award during the 2006 James Beard Foundation Awards ceremony, in New York. Jones died of complications from Alzheimer’s on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. She was 93. (AP Photo Richard Drew, File)

By    |   Wednesday, 02 Aug 2017 04:52 PM

Judith Jones, who edited culinary books by Julia Child and literary novels by John Updike and Anne Tyler, died Wednesday at age 93 from complications of Alzheimer’s.

Jones worked at Knopf for more than 50 years and retired in 2011 as senior editor and vice president. She started out as an assistant in Paris at Doubleday and discovered “The Diary of Anne Frank” in a rejection pile. She convinced her editor to publish it and it sold more than 30 million copies worldwide in 60 languages.

She was hired at Knopf in 1957 partly because of that success, and her knowledge of French led her to go to bat for another rejected book: “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child and two other authors, according to the New York Times.

She also edited numerous literary novelists and poets besides Updike and Tyler, including Langston Hughes, John Hersey, and William Maxwell. Additionally, she wrote for magazines such as Vogue, Saveur, and Gourmet, and won the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award and other honors.

“I’m not sure that I’m conscious of what I’m doing when I edit,” Jones said in an interview in Eater in 2015. “I’m just happy when it comes out right and it’s written with conviction.”

Twitter users commented on Jones' long career and the power of her words.

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Judith Jones, who edited culinary books by Julia Child and literary novels by John Updike and Anne Tyler, died Wednesday at age 93 from complications of Alzheimer's.
judith jones, dies, editor, literary, culinary, masterpieces
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2017-52-02
Wednesday, 02 Aug 2017 04:52 PM
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