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The Editor

An interview with writer & historian Sara B. Franklin about Judith Jones, Sylvia Plath, & how write & shape a book, then & now

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of talking with my friend Sara B. Franklin, whose book The Editor: How Publishing Legend Judith Jones Shaped Culture In America is available for pre-order, and debuts on May 28. Judith Jones was Sylvia Plath’s editor at Knopf during Plath’s lifetime, but I knew of Jones long before I learned of this connection, having watched her portrayed as Julia Child’s editor in the movie Julie & Julia (2009). In 2019, in Ted Hughes’s archive at Emory, I read letters between Hughes and Jones, in the wake of Plath’s suicide, and became fascinated with the role Jones played (and the one she should have played!) in Plath’s legacy. I began to hunt for more information about Judith Jones, which led me to Sara.

Sara and I had an internet meet cute when I emailed her to ask if she would consider talking with me about Judith Jones and Sylvia Plath, only to discover she had been wanting to talk with me about the same. The rest is history. Sara saw me through the challenge of finishing Loving Sylvia Plath: A Reclamation (out July 9 with Norton) and, in the process, became a cherished friend. Here, we discuss her extraordinary friendship with Judith, Judith’s relationship with Sylvia, post-war Paris, writing as a single mother, cookbooks, oral history, the ethics of biography, toxic love affairs with toxic poets, and so much more. I hope you enjoy our conversation, and I hope you pre-order The Editor: How Publishing Legend Judith Jones Shaped Culture In America wherever you buy your books.

Cooking the Books with Sara B. Franklin
Loving Sylvia Plath
Loving Sylvia Plath
Emily Van Duyne
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