Miriam Gross

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Miriam Gross

Miriam Gross (Lady Owen) is a literary editor and writer in Britain.[1][2]

She was the Deputy Literary editor of The Observer from 1969 to 1981, the Women's editor of The Observer from 1981 to 1984, the Arts editor of The Daily Telegraph from 1986 to 1991, and the Literary editor of The Sunday Telegraph from 1991 to 2005.[3][4][5] She served as senior editor (and co-founder) of Standpoint magazine[6] from 2008–10 and now serves on their advisory board.[7] Writing in The Spectator (6 June 1988), the historian Paul Johnson said that "the beautiful and elegant Miriam Gross is queen of the lit eds."

From 1986–88 she edited Channel Four's Book Choice.[8] She is also the editor of two collections of essays, The World of George Orwell (1971) and The World of Raymond Chandler (1977).

While at The Observer, she conducted a series of interviews,[9] 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,[10] and has written an occasional column for the Financial Times.[11] She has also served as a judge on the Booker prize[12] and on the George Orwell memorial prize.

Her July 2010 policy essay on education in London schools, "So why Can't they Read?",[13] commissioned by London mayor Boris Johnson, generated some media discussion.[14] She is the author of a memoir, An Almost English Life. [15]

Family and education[edit]

She was born in Jerusalem in pre-state Israel.[16] Her Jewish parents, the late Kurt May and Vera May (Feinberg), fled Nazi Germany. She grew up in Jerusalem,[17] Switzerland and England. She was educated at Dartington Hall School[18] 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[19]). The couple had two children, Tom Gross and Susanna Gross.[20] Since 1993, she has been married to Sir Geoffrey Owen, the former editor of the Financial Times.


  1. ^ Johnson, Daniel (5 October 2012). "Last and best of the great literary editors". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Hughes, Kathryn (3 September 2012). "Kissing and telling... tales of old Fleet Street". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Sutherland, John (29 August 2012). "Miriam Gross's damnably readable memoir". The New Statesman. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Gross, Miriam (8 September 2012). "Living in England as an outsider". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Skidelsky, Will (9 September 2012). "An Almost English Life". The Observer. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Pieces for Standpoint by Miriam Gross
  7. ^ http://standpointmag.co.uk/node/4603/full
  8. ^ Brookner, Anita (1 September 2012). "A seamless whole". The Spectator. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Christiansen, Rupert (23 August 2012). "An Almost English Life: Literary, and Not so Literary Recollections". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Diary columns for The Spectator by Miriam Gross
  11. ^ Columns for the Financial Times by Miriam Gross
  12. ^ Prodger, Michael (11 October 2008). "Booker Prize must prove it hasn't lost the plot". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "So why Can't they Read?". Centre for Policy Studies. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Hastings, Max (20 July 2010). "Ideologues of illiteracy: The terrible damage wrought on our schools". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Miriam Gross’s diary: Why use Freud and Kurt Weill to promote Wagner?". The Spectator. 7 March 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  16. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/sep/08/living-england-outsider-miriam-gross
  17. ^ Gross, Miriam (September 2010). "A Jerusalem Childhood". Standpoint. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  18. ^ Gross, Miriam (May 2011). "An Experimental Education". Standpoint. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  19. ^ "John Gross". The Telegraph. 10 January 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  20. ^ Sexton, David (11 September 2012). "The formidable literary editor Miriam Gross talks to David Sexton about what makes a writer and the agony of love". The (London) Evening Standard. Retrieved 26 April 2014.