Research Programs: Public Scholars

Period of Performance

9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021

Funding Totals

$60,000.00 (approved)
$60,000.00 (awarded)

The Taste Maker: The Life and Work of Judith Jones, the 20th-Century Editor Who Changed the Way America Cooked, Ate, and Read

FAIN: FZ-271119-20

Sara Bergen Franklin, PhD
New York University (New York, NY 10012-1019)

Research and writing leading to a biography of American cookbook and literary editor Judith Jones (1924–2017).

Judith Jones (1924 – 2017) is best known for “rescuing” Anne Frank’s diary from the Doubleday slush pile in postwar Paris, and her “discovery” of Julia Child in the late 1950s. But little else is known about Jones, who spend more than 50 years as senior editor at Knopf. The first woman editor hired to the firm, she spent decades nurturing such luminaries as novelists Anne Tyler and John Updike, and poets including Sharon Olds. She is also the progenitor of modern American food culture and media, responsible for redefining and elevating the cookbook form. In my book, Taste Maker (under contract with Signal Press), I present a narrative biography—the first on Jones (based, in part, on extensive oral history interviews I conducted with Jones in 2013, as well as on exclusive access to her personal archive)—examining her extraordinary life, and in so doing, parsing the role of women in American publishing, the under-documented role of editors in literature, and the “quiet power of cookbooks.”