Marion Boyars

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Marion Boyars
Marion Asmus

(1927-10-26)26 October 1927
Died1 February 1999(1999-02-01) (aged 71)
London, UK
EducationKeele University
OccupationPublisher, founder of Marion Boyars Publishers
Spouse(s)George Lobbenberg (divorced); Arthur Boyars
ChildrenTwo daughters

Marion Ursula Boyars, née Asmus (26 October 1927 – 1 February 1999), was a British book publisher who in 1975 founded her own imprint, Marion Boyars Publishers.


She was born Marion Asmus in New York, United States, daughter of German publisher Johannes Asmus.[1][2] She attended school in New York and Switzerland, living with her mother and sister, before going on to Keele University to read for a degree in politics, philosophy and economics. After graduating, she married George Lobbenberg and had two daughters. The marriage ended in divorce, and in the 1960s she was married for a second time to poet and translator Arthur Boyars.[1]

In 1960 she answered an advertisement in The Bookseller that led to her buying a 50 per cent stake in the small independent publishing company run by John Calder in London. The resultant publishing house, Calder and Boyars, published books by authors including Samuel Beckett, Marguerite Duras, Henry Miller, Eugene Ionesco and William S. Burroughs, until the firm split in 1975.[1] She then formed Marion Boyars Publishers, and working with her husband Arthur (described as her "literary guide and cheerleader")[3] built up an eclectic list of translated fiction (including by such authors as Julio Cortázar, Latife Tekin, Vasily Shukshin and Witold Gombrowicz), as well as books on music and cinema.[4][5]

She died of pancreatic cancer at her home in London in 1999, aged 71.[2] On her death, her younger daughter Catheryn Kilgarriff took over the running of Marion Boyars Publishers.[3][6]