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THE LADY WITH THE BORZOI: Blanche Knopf Literary Tastemaker Extraordinaire by Laura Claridge

April 12, 2016
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Blanche#1 New Release in Book Publishing Industry and a Publishers Weekly Top Pick for Spring.

Left 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, André Gide, and Simone de Beauvoir, giving these French writers the benefit of her consummate editorial taste. As Knopf celebrates its centennial The Lady with the Borzoi examines the life of Blanche Knopf and highlights her contributions to the esteemed publishing company and the industry as a whole.

Laura Claridge is the author of Norman Rockwell; Tamara de Lempicka: A Life of Deco and Decadence; Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners, and more. Claridge has won the National endowment for the Humanities Grant as well as the J. Anthony Lukas prize for a Work in Progress. Her biographies and writings on feminist theory and popular culture have been featured in newspapers and magazines such as The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and others, in addition to appearing on other national media, such as NBC, CNN, BBC, NPR, and more.

 PRAISE FOR The Lady With The Borzoi: Blanche Knopf Literary Tastemaker Extraordinaire

 “Claridge is the first to bring Blanche Wolf Knopf fully out of the shadows in this meticulous, groundbreaking biography . . . Claridge illuminates a radiant facet of American publishing and women’s history as she portrays Blanche Knopf in all her brainy and aesthetic glory and elegant fortitude.” ―Booklist (starred review)

 “[Claridge] manages to synthesize an enormous amount of research and biographical information to paint a complete picture of a complex figure. Packed with interesting literary anecdotes, this biography reveals a powerful woman who played an integral role in 20th-century publishing.” ―Publishers Weekly

 “A fascinating look at Blanche Knopf . . . Filled with insights into the literary intrigues of the times and Blanche’s careful handling and promotion of ‘her’ writers as well as the house’s authors, this biography is highly recommended to readers who are interested in modernist literature, American literature, publishing, and creative writing.” — Pam Kingsbury, Library Journal (starred review)

 “[A] remarkable life story . . . Capacious and engaging . . . In The Lady with the Borzoi, Claridge triumphantly restores Blanche Knopf’s central place in 20th-century publishing history.” — Catherine Hollins, Book Page

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