American literary 'legend' Jones dies

American literary 'legend' Jones dies

An American literary editor “legend” who saved Anne Frank’s diary from a publisher’s rejection pile has passed away aged 93, it has been reported.

Judith Jones helped bring the Jewish teenager’s voice to the world and the testimony, written in Amsterdam between 1942 and 1944, is now one of the most famous diaries of all time.

According to the Daily Mail, despite being published outside of the US, the personal account of the Second World War only became a “publishing sensation” after Jones spotted it while working as an assistant in the Paris office of Doubleday. It had allegedly been rejected by the publishing house until Jones read it.

The first American edition Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl was published in 1952 with only 5,000 copies printed and contained a preface from former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

According to the New York Times, Jones also discovered cookery writer Julia Child and spent half a century editing John Updike, Anne Tyler, John Hersey and "other literary lions".

Jones reportedly died at her home in Vermont.

Chairman and editor-in-chief of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group said: “Judith was a legend in book publishing.”