The woman helper gave him the girl’s writing. They cried.
from: The Tree in the courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank’s Window
by Jeff Gottesfeld
illustrated by Peter McCarty
Our legacy is not what people remember about us after we’ve left this earth. It’s the difference we make while we’re here, whether or not anyone remembers or even knows about it.
Judith Jones is the common denominator between Anne Frank, Julia Child, and Anne Tyler (among many others). Judith Jones was an extraordinary editor and according to Anne Tyler, a remarkable human being. Ms. Jones passed away last week after spending her life in the publishing world. If you know of her at all, it is probably because of the movie Julie and Julia, starring Merle Streep. Erin Dilly played a version of Judith Jones as Julia’s editor.
According to an NPR story, Judith was in the middle of writing rejection letters when she stumbled upon Anne Frank’s diary in the discard pile. She convinced her boss to acquire it for Doubleday.
By 1957, she convinced her bosses at Knopf to acquire another reject, The Art of French Cooking by an unknown writer and chef, Julia Child.
Judith Jones’s legacy is a remarkable one of editing authors’ work and bringing it into the world. Who doesn’t think of Julia Child when we hear bon appetit! Who can forget the innocence in the famous words of Anne Frank’s wonderful, tragic diary, “In spite of everything I still believe that people are good at heart.” Whatever else we remember about her, Anne’s most important legacy is her optimism.
Judith Jones was an excellent cook and a gourmet. But she changed the world by making it more accessible to all of us. She brought us a world not our own and let us explore through the words of her authors. In Anne Tyler’s words, “I read so I can live more than one life in more than one place.” Judith Jones’s insight has made the world better.
I can’t control what people will or will not remember about me after I’m gone. But I can learn from Anne Frank’s optimism, Julia Child’s passion, Anne Tyler’s wisdom, and Judith Jones’s ability to sense what is true and make it come alive.