Miron Grindea

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Miron Grindea
Mondi Miron Grunberg

(1909-01-31)31 January 1909
Died18 November 1995(1995-11-18) (aged 86)
London, England
OccupationLiterary journalist and editor
Notable workADAM International Review
SpouseCarola Rabinovici

Miron Grindea OBE (31 January 1909 – 18 November 1995)[1] was a Romanian-born literary journalist and the editor of ADAM International Review, a literary magazine published for more than 50 years. In 1984 ADAM was said to be "the world's longest surviving literary magazine".[2] Its title was an acronym for "Arts, Drama, Architecture and Music".[3]


Born Mondi Miron Grunberg in the Moldavian town of Târgu Ocna, he moved with his Jewish family after the First World War to the capital, Bucharest. Having studied humanities at the University of Bucharest and at the Sorbonne in Paris, Miron Grindea from 1929 began reviewing music and literature for the Jewish cultural review ADAM and became its co-editor in 1936. That same year, he married the pianist Carola Rabinovici (1914–2009);[4] their daughter Nadia was also to become a pianist. Grindea and his wife arrived in Britain in September 1939,[5] two days before the outbreak of the Second World War, and he was soon employed in the BBC’s European Intelligence Section at Bush House, London.

ADAM International Review, 1941–95[edit]

When in 1941, many émigré authors, including Thomas Mann and Stefan Zweig, gathered in London for a meeting of the international writers' club PEN, under the presidency of H. G. Wells, Grindea was inspired to start an international literary journal. To avoid wartime restrictions on new publications, he revived ADAM in September that year.

His eminent associates and contributors included Cyril Connolly, Stephen Spender, J. B. Priestley (who were all among the several members of ADAM’s editorial board) T. S. Eliot and George D. Painter. Grindea's personal library (housed at the Foyles Special Collections Library at the Maughan Library) includes signed copies of works by Arthur Koestler, André Gide, Robert Graves, Bertrand Russell, Tristan Tzara, Patrick Moore and Graham Greene and many others. As David Gascoyne noted: "It was in fact obvious, in the mid-forties,to any educated reader, that Adam's only rival was the then recently defunct Criterion, edited by T S Eliot."[6]

Grindea edited and, with subsidies, financed ADAM from his London home at Emperor’s Gate in Kensington, over the decades featuring an eclectic range of subjects in the magazine (its title was an acronym for Art, Drama, Architecture and Music), and attracting an illustrious list of unpaid contributors (in both English and French), who at various times included George Bernard Shaw, Cecil Day-Lewis, W. H. Auden, E. M. Forster, Anthony Powell, Lawrence Durrell, Winston Churchill, Max Beerbohm, François Mauriac and Samuel Beckett,[7] at times featuring drawings by artists including Picasso and Chagall.[8] Among those who made their debut in ADAM are Maureen Duffy and Wolf Mankowitz,[9] and others Grindea enlisted as sometime workers include Margaret Busby (who on leaving university was briefly his editorial assistant) and Erik de Mauny, who recalled: "I am sure that I am not the only one among his friends to have been telephoned late at night with urgent requests for help and advice with the next number of Adam."[6] Hanif Kureishi was quoted in a 2014 Guardian article as saying: "I only once pitchforked a person I knew directly into a novel to make a point, and that was Miron Grindea, the editor of the international literary magazine Adam, whose respectful attendance on the great and good in his editorials I found highly amusing."[10]

At the time of his death aged 86, in London in 1995, Grindea was working on the 500th edition of ADAM.[11]



In 2006 ADAM: An Anthology of Miron Grindea's ADAM Editorials[12] (2 volumes), selected and edited by his grand-daughter Rachel Lasserson[13] (former editor of Jewish Quarterly), was published (London: Vallentine Mitchell),[11] with an Introduction entitled "Music, Proust and Anti-Semitism".


Miron Grindea's papers and the ADAM archives[14] are largely held at King's College London.[15] A commemorative exhibition, Miron Grindea and the Art of Literary Journalism, was held at the Weston Room, Maughan Library and Information Services Centre, Chancery Lane, in 2003.

Two portraits are in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London: an unattributed photo of Grindea taken in 1939[16] and a photograph by Barry Marsden (1989).[17]


  1. ^ Calder, John (20 November 1995). "Miron Grindea: The creator of Adam". The Guardian. p. 12.
  2. ^ "ADAM" Magazine, Channel 4 News, ITN, 30 January 1984. JISC MediaHub.
  3. ^ Bettina Lemm, ADAM description. Index of Modernist Magazines.
  4. ^ "Professor Carola Grindea", The Telegraph, 23 July 2009.
  5. ^ Jeremy Siepmann, "Carola Grindea obituary", The Guardian, 1 September 2009.
  6. ^ a b "Letters: Perceptive and passionate eye on the arts", Obituaries, The Guardian, 23 November 1995, p. 18.
  7. ^ John Calder, "The creator of Adam" (obituary), The Guardian, 20 November 1995, p. 12.
  8. ^ The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English, ed. Jenny Stringer, with an introduction by John Sutherland, Oxford University Press, 1996; reprinted 2004.
  9. ^ Anthony Rudolf, "Obituary: Miron Grindea", The Independent, 20 November 1995.
  10. ^ D. J. Taylor, "Can't writers make anything up?", The Guardian, 7 February 2014.
  11. ^ a b C. J. Schüler, "Miron Grindea: The Don Quixote of Kensington"[dead link] (review of ADAM: An Anthology of Miron Grindea's ADAM Editorials), The Independent, 2 April 2006.
  12. ^ Rupert Christiansen, "The outsider who felt the cold", The Spectator, 11 March 2006. Review of ADAM: An Anthology of Miron Grindea's ADAM Editorials.
  13. ^ "Growing up with ADAM - Rachel Lasserson remembers a very extraordinary, ordinary man", Jewish Quarterly, Spring 2006, 53:1, pp. 87–88. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  14. ^ Summary of ADAM archives held at King's College, London.
  15. ^ "Adam Collection", Art & Culture, King's College London, 14 May 2020. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  16. ^ Miron Grindea by Unknown photographer, bromide print on card mount, 1939. National Portrait Gallery, London.
  17. ^ Miron Grindea photo by Barry Marsden, bromide fibre print, 1989. National Portrait Gallery, London.

External links[edit]