December 17, 2007
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The Tenth Muse: My Life In Food

by Judith Jones

Judith Jones broke into publishing when, as a junior editorial assistant, she plucked The Diary of Anne Frank off Doubleday's slush pile. She joined Knopf in 1957 and she's still there, fifty years later, though Knopf's purchaser has itself been sold and resold. At Knopf, she launched a cookbook revolution, starting by the discovery of Julia Child. She edited Child, Elizabeth David, Claudia Roden — the whole modern cookbook revolution. She's bright and witty and she remembers everything and knows how to craft a book.

It's wrong to criticize a book for not being what it doesn't seek to be, but still I read this wonderful book and sigh for a companion volume: My Life In Books. This is an instructive memoir for the historian, not only for the wonderful details and coincidences, but also for what's left out.