The Lady with the Borzoi: Blanche Knopf, Literary Tastemaker Extraordinaire

The Lady with the Borzoi Blanche Knopf Literary Tastemaker Extraordinaire The untold story of Blanche Knopf the singular woman who helped define American literatureLeft off her company s fifth anniversary tribute but described by Thomas Mann as the soul of the firm Blanch

  • Title: The Lady with the Borzoi: Blanche Knopf, Literary Tastemaker Extraordinaire
  • Author: Laura Claridge
  • ISBN: 9780374114251
  • Page: 109
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The untold story of Blanche Knopf, the singular woman who helped define American literatureLeft off her company s fifth anniversary tribute but described by Thomas Mann as the soul of the firm, Blanche Knopf began her career when she founded Alfred A Knopf with her husband in 1915 With her finger on the pulse of a rapidly changing culture, Blanche quickly became a drivThe untold story of Blanche Knopf, the singular woman who helped define American literatureLeft off her company s fifth anniversary tribute but described by Thomas Mann as the soul of the firm, Blanche Knopf began her career when she founded Alfred A Knopf with her husband in 1915 With her finger on the pulse of a rapidly changing culture, Blanche quickly became a driving force behind the firm.A conduit to the literature of Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance, Blanche also legitimized the hard boiled detective fiction of writers such as Dashiell Hammett, James M Cain, and Raymond Chandler signed and nurtured literary authors like Willa Cather, Elizabeth Bowen, and Muriel Spark acquired momentous works of journalism by John Hersey and William Shirer and introduced American readers to Albert Camus, Andr Gide, and Simone de Beauvoir, giving these French writers the benefit of her consummate editorial taste.As Knopf celebrates its centennial, Laura Claridge looks back at the firm s beginnings and the dynamic woman who helped to define American letters for the twentieth century Drawing on a vast cache of papers, Claridge also captures Blanche s witty, loyal, and amusing personality, and her charged yet oddly loving relationship with her husband An intimate and often surprising biography, The Lady with the Borzoi is the story of an ambitious, seductive, and impossibly hardworking woman who was determined not to be overlooked or easily categorized.

    One thought on “The Lady with the Borzoi: Blanche Knopf, Literary Tastemaker Extraordinaire”

    1. The most unlikely person in my office emailed me this morning pointing me towards a review of this book in the New York Review of Books on May 26th (check the Archives if you're also interested).And then this communication via email occurred:Me:Thank you, I had not previously seen that. What an interesting woman, and yet another that has been almost forgotten by history.I especially love this as I can relate: “Increasingly bookish, contemptuous of the friends she had begun to view as frivolous [...]

    2. Blanche Knopf is an extraordinary figure who shaped our worldview for generations. We have her to thank for many additions to our 20th century canon.

    3. Blanche Knopf, as it turns out, was actually the brains behind Alfred A. Knopf publishers. Among the writers she brought to the company were Harlem Renaissance writers like Langston Hughes, the journalism of John Hersey and William Shirer, and many major authors such as Willa Cather, Elizabeth Bowen, and Muriel Spark. She introduced America to Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus and Andre Gide. She seems to have single-handedly launched hard-boiled detective fiction, discovering and developing Dash [...]

    4. This book took me a long time to read, it was dense with factual information about this remarkable woman who loved books. I liked that the author included addresses of the buildings where the Knopfs and others lived and worked. I was able to look online and view the exteriors of these vintage New York buildings, read the history of the buildings, and even see some of the floor plans.

    5. A perfectly rendered thoroughly covered and admirable telling of a rather extraordinary woman in her own right as well as in the world of publishing. Rather ground breaking in her insight and confident in her own abilities Blanche Knopf absolutely left her indelible mark on literature.Although the important contributions of Blanche Knopf have often been overlooked in the recorded history of the house of Knopf Publishing, Laura Claridge certainly brings Mrs. Knopf into the light and her place in [...]

    6. Interesting biography of a publisher who brought to Knopf many now-famous authors of existentialism, the Harlem Renaissance, and hard-boiled detective fiction. Because of the times (Knopf was founded in 1915; Blanche died in 1966), she was never given credit for finding and wooing these authors--instead, credit was given to her husband Alfred, and she was often referred to as "the publisher's wife." Recommended if you're interested in the publishing business or writers from the first half of the [...]

    7. For anyone who has read extensively, this is an interesting look behind the scenes from a publisher's viewpoint. Blanche Knopf was definitely a force to be reckoned with. Too bad we couldn't have seen her in action in today's world, without her husband holding her back.While the subject matter was interesting, and the research was thorough, the author did not package the info in an easily digestible manner. It was as if she simply MUST throw in every single detail she had gleaned in her research [...]

    8. I couldn't help but feel that this book could have been so much better! Claridge spent a great deal of the novel discussing titles of books Knopf was publishing and name-dropping frequently without much context or supporting content. If she had focused more on Blanche's personal life and perhaps written it as a novel inspired by her life rather than a biography it would have been much juicier. Blanche's life certainly was interesting and unusual and I felt like this book did not do it justice.

    9. Like her or not, Blanche Knopf was a formidable and astute publisher. Her literary taste shaped what is arguably one of the most prestigious imprints in publishing. This biography seems a bit one-sided but the author intended to credit Blanche Knopf with the accolades she deserves. Despite the cliches used in abundance The Lady with the Borzoi is a wonderful account of publishing in the twentieth century.

    10. Detailed biography of an interesting woman. Extensive view of her times, especially interesting in the 20's & 30's.There were times the book brought flashbacks of my desk piled with index cards as I struggled late on a Sunday night to put in every single fact that would impress my teacher on Monday morning. Could have used better editing to prune it and make it more compelling.

    11. I was really looking forward to reading this book, and while I did enjoy it, I couldn't help feeling it could have been even better somehow.

    12. I wanted to enjoy this story, but the writer's style didn't engage my interest. Also I wondered why the book wasn't published by Knopf.

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