Judith Jones

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Judith B. Jones (born 1924) retired as senior editor and vice president at Knopf in 2011.[1] In 1950 she rescued The Diary of Anne Frank from the reject pile. In 1960, she championed a cookbook no other publisher would touch, named it Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and became Julia Child's editor from then on.[2] She ushered all of John Updike's books into print, including the posthumous titles, and edited many other important works both culinary and literary.[citation needed]

Jones has written a number of cookbooks herself, as well as a cookbook/memoir, The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food. Raised in New England, she lives in New York City and summers in Northern Vermont, where she also raises grass-fed cattle on the Bryn Teg farm.

Her husband and collaborator Evan Jones died in 1996. The couple had no children.


Jones joined Knopf in 1957 as an assistant to Blanche Knopf[1] and editor working mainly on translations of French writers such as Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. Before that she worked for Doubleday, first in New York and then in Paris, where she read and recommended The Diary of Anne Frank, pulling it out of the rejection pile.[3]

Major culinary authors Jones has brought into print include Lidia Bastianich, James Beard, Julia Child, Marion Cunningham, Rosie Daley, Edward Giobbi, Marcella Hazan, Madhur Jaffrey, Edna Lewis, Joan Nathan, Scott Peacock, Jacques Pépin, Claudia Roden, and Nina Simonds. The 18-book Knopf Cooks American series was Jones' creation.[4] She is also the longtime editor of John Updike, Anne Tyler, John Hersey, Elizabeth Bowen, Peter Taylor and William Maxwell.[5]


Jones wrote three books with her husband Evan, and has written two on her own since his death, one on cooking for one person, as well as a memoir of her life and food.

“Learning to like cooking alone is an ongoing process. But the alternative is worse.” --Judith Jones[6]

Jones has contributed to Vogue, Saveur, and Gourmet magazines. In 2006, she was awarded the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

She was portrayed by American actress Erin Dilly in the 2009 film, Julie & Julia.


  • Knead It, Punch It, Bake It!: Make Your Own Bread, with Evan Jones, illustrated by Lauren Jarrett (for children, Thomas Y. Crowell Co., October 1981)
  • The Book of Bread, with Evan Jones (Harper & Row, 1982)
  • The L.L. Bean Game and Fish Cookbook, with Angus Cameron, illustrated by Bill Elliott (Random House, October 12, 1983)
  • The L.L. Bean Book of New New England Cookery, with Evan Jones (Random House, October 12, 1987) (reprinted as The Book of New New England Cookery, illustrated by Lauren Jarrett, in paperback by UPNE, April 1, 2001)
  • The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food (Knopf, October 23, 2007)
  • The Pleasures of Cooking for One (Knopf, September 29, 2009)


  1. ^ a b Swanson, Clare (15 May 2015). "A Century of Alfred A. Knopf". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Raising Steaks, Christine Muhlke, NY Times September 24, 2009
  3. ^ Barnes and Noble biography of Judith Jones
  4. ^ Star Chef's bio of Judith Jones
  5. ^ "An Editing Life, a Book of Her Own" , Julia Moskin, NY Times, October 24, 2007
  6. ^ Moskin, 2007

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