Miriam Gross (Lady Owen) has had a long and distinguished career as a literary editor. She was the Deputy Literary editor of The Observer from 1969–81, the Women’s editor of The Observer from 1981–84, the Arts editor of The Daily Telegraph from 1986–91, and the Literary editor of The Sunday Telegraph from 1991-2005. She served as senior editor (and a co-founder) of Standpoint magazine from 2008–10 and now serves on their advisory board. Writing in The Spectator (June 6, 1988), the historian Paul Johnson said that "the beautiful and elegant Miriam Gross is queen of the lit eds."
While at The Observer, she conducted a series of high-profile interviews, with, among others, the poet Philip Larkin, playwright Harold Pinter, thriller writer John le Carré, painter Francis Bacon, Nobel prize winning Russian poet Joseph Brodsky, novelist Anthony Powell, philosopher and historian Sir Isaiah Berlin, philosopher A. J. Ayer, and Svetlana Stalin (Stalin’s daughter). (Some of these interviews have been republished in books, including Required Writing by Philip Larkin, and Pinter in the Theatre.)
More recently, she has been a contributor to The Spectator, as the magazine's diarist, and has written an occasional column for The Financial Times. She is a member of The Literary Society, which is based at the Garrick Club in London. She has also served as a judge on the Booker prize and on the George Orwell memorial prize.
Her July 2010 policy essay on education in London schools, "So why Can't they Read?", commissioned by London mayor Boris Johnson, generated much media discussion.
Family and education
She was born in Jerusalem in pre-state Israel. Her Jewish parents, the late Kurt May and Vera May, fled Nazi Germany. She grew up in Jerusalem, Switzerland and England. She was educated at Dartington Hall School and at Oxford University where she read English literature at St Anne's College. She was married to the literary and theatrical critic John Gross (1965-88), the couple had two children Tom Gross and Susanna Gross and since 1993 has been married to Sir Geoffrey Owen, the former editor of The Financial Times.
Recently, a portrait of Miriam Gross was exhibited at the Marlborough Fine Art gallery in London's Mayfair.
- Hughes, Kathryn (3 September 2012). "Kissing and telling... tales of old Fleet Street". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- Sutherland, John (29 August 2012). "Miriam Gross's damnably readable memoir". The New Statesman. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- Johnson, Daniel (5 October 2012). "Last and best of the great literary editors". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- Pieces for Standpoint by Miriam Gross
- Brookner, Anita (1 September 2012). "A seamless whole". The Spectator. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- Christiansen, Rupert (23 August 2012). "An Almost English Life: Literary, and Not so Literary Recollections". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
- Diary columns for The Spectator by Miriam Gross
- Columns for The Financial Times by Miriam Gross
- Prodger, Michael (11 October 2008). "Booker Prize must prove it hasn't lost the plot". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- "So why Can't they Read?". Centre for Policy Studies. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- Gross, Miriam (September 2010). "A Jerusalem Childhood". Standpoint. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- Gross, Miriam (May 2011). "An Experimental Education". Standpoint. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- "John Gross". The Telegraph. 10 January 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- Marlborough Fine Art Gallery, London