Upcoming Event
  • The Editor

    by Sara B. Franklin
    Price $29.99
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    The Editor

Sara B. Franklin at Harvard Book Store


The Editor:
How Publishing Legend Judith Jones
Shaped Culture in America

in conversation with KATHY GUNST


June 4, 2024
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes SARA B. FRANKLIN—editor of Edna Lewis and coauthor of The Phoenicia Diner Cookbook—for a discussion of her new book The Editor: How Publishing Legend Judith Jones Shaped Culture in America. She will be joined in conversation by KATHY GUNST—James Beard award winning food journalist and the author of sixteen cookbooks.

About The Editor

When twenty-five-year-old Judith Jones began working as a secretary at Doubleday’s Paris office in 1949, she was 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.

Praise for The Editor

“A thorough and humanizing portrait.” —Kirkus

The Editor retrieves Jones from the margins of publishing history and affirms her essential role in shaping the postwar cultural landscape, from fiction to cooking and beyond.” —The Millions

“Sara B. Franklin pulls back the curtain and casts a penetrating light on Judith Jones, a consummate editor, a connoisseur of food and fiction, a sophisticated, determined, and secret force who worked in publishing for half-a-century, cooking up and shaping so many books that shaped us. The Editor is a surprising, granular, luminous, and path-breaking biography.” –Edward Hirsch, critic and bestselling author of How to Read a Poem

“Judith Jones has, at long last, found a worthy biographer in Sara B. Franklin. Her kaleidoscopic portrait of Jones, anchored in deep research but written with crisp clarity, honors every complication of Jones's character without losing sight of the remarkable imprint she left on America’s literary landscape—far beyond the realm of food.” –Mayukh Sen, author of Taste Makers

“Through her editorial work, Judith Jones changed the perception of what it meant to be a woman who cooks. Through The Editor, Sara B. Franklin gives shape and weight to a career that could have continued on as a footnote; in doing so, she proves Jones was too good and influential to live on like that.” –Alicia Kennedy, author of No Meat Required

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Kathy Gunst
Kathy Gunst

Kathy Gunst

Kathy Gunst is a James Beard award winning food journalist and the author of 16 cookbooks. Her most recent book is Rage Baking: The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury, and Women’s Voices. She is the Resident Chef for NPR’s Here and Now, heard on over 550 public radio stations, broadcast out of Boston’s WBUR. She writes for the Washington Post, Eating Well, Yankee, Boston Globe, Cognoscenti and other publications. She teaches Finding Your Voice in Food Writing and Memoir at various schools around the globe. She lives in southern Maine.

Photo Credit: John W. Hession

Sara B. Franklin
Sara B. Franklin

Sara B. Franklin

Sara B. Franklin is a writer, teacher, and oral historian. She received a 2020–2021 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Public Scholars grant for her research on Judith Jones, and teaches courses on food, writing, embodied culture, and oral history at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She is the author of The Editor, the editor of Edna Lewis, and coauthor of The Phoenicia Diner Cookbook. She holds a PhD in Food Studies from NYU and studied documentary storytelling at both the Duke Center for Documentary Studies and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. She lives with her children in Kingston, New York. 

Photo Credit: Katrín Björk

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