Tom Maschler

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Thomas Michael Maschler (born 16 August 1933)[1] is a British publisher and writer.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Berlin,[2] the son of Austrian Jews, he was five when his family fled to England from Vienna after the Nazi annexation of Austria (Anschluss). After Leighton Park School, he travelled widely, stayed on a kibbutz and did national service before going on to work in publishing.

Following his divorce, in 1987, from Fay Maschler, in 1988, he married Regina Kulinicz. Picador published his autobiography Publisher in 2005.[3]


As head of Jonathan Cape, he discovered and published many writers including Gabriel García Márquez, Ian McEwan and Bruce Chatwin.

One of Maschler's earliest coups was purchasing Joseph Heller's Catch-22 for £250.[2] He also was one of the key figures responsible for creating the Booker Prize in the late 1960s - envisaged as a British version of the French Prix Goncourt.[2]

Maschler played a key role in the career downturn of novelist Barbara Pym. In 1963, after joining Cape, Maschler rejected Pym's seventh novel, An Unsuitable Attachment, on the advice of two readers at the firm. Cape had published all of Pym's previous novels (although before Maschler had joined), and she expressed a belief that she was being unfairly treated, but was told that her novels were no longer attractive to readers [4]. It would be 14 years until Pym had another novel published. The novelist never fully forgave Maschler. When she was rediscovered in 1977, she refused to let Cape publish her new novels [5]. Pym and her sister Hilary invented a weak-tasting dessert, a combination of lime jelly and milk and called it "Maschler pudding". After Pym's death, Maschler would appear in the 1992 television film Miss Pym's Day Out recounting his decision to reject the novel. [6].


  1. ^ "Weekend birthdays". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 16 August 2014. p. 49.
  2. ^ a b c Nicholas Wroe, "Talent spotter", The Guardian, 12 March 2005.
  3. ^ John Walsh, "Tom Maschler: Publish and be acclaimed", The Independent, 16 March 2005.
  4. ^ Holt, Hazel (1990). A Lot to Ask: A Life of Barbara Pym. London: Macmillan. pp. 192–197. ISBN 0525249370.
  5. ^ Pym, Barbara, Finding a Voice, radio talk given 4 April 1978 on BBC Radio 3, archived at The Barbara Pym Society website, accessed 26 April 2020
  6. ^ 1999, 1983 (19 February 1992). "Miss Pym's Day Out". Bookmark. Season 9. Episode 8. 35 minutes in. BBC. Retrieved 26 April 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]