Saturday, May 27, 2017

RIP George Braziller

Janet Frame and George Braziller
Central Park, New York
Photo: Pamela Gordon
I was very sad to hear in March this year of the death of the remarkable American publisher George Braziller at the age of 101. As his New York Times obituary notes:

Mr. Braziller’s most enduring publishing relationship was with New Zealand’s Janet Frame. It began with her first novel, “Owls Do Cry,” which he published in 1960, and continued for 30 years with eight more novels and volumes of short stories, poetry and an autobiography.
I met George several times in Janet's company, in New Zealand and in the States. He was a gentleman, with a powerful presence, a rich, emotional voice, and a great love of the finest things in life, surrounding himself with the best in literature and art - and if he couldn't find it, he published it!

Among my own most loved treasures are a couple of exquisite George Braziller editions of the Hours of Catherine of Cleves and of the Duke de Berry (I love illuminated manuscripts), and for me one of the highlights of my visit to New York in 2000 with my aunt was a guided tour George gave us around the Morgan Library, a place where he clearly felt so very much at home.

As I have described before, it was very moving to witness the tenderness and depth of George and Janet's relationship - his fierce admiration for her work and her fierce loyalty to him in spite of many efforts on the part of many people over the years to persuade her to move to a larger publishing house that in their opinion would have been 'better for her career'. Janet Frame had her own ideas about that.

My sincerest condolences to George's family, friends and colleagues for their loss.
He will be irreplaceable, and his death feels like the end of an era.

ArtForum obituary

Publishers Weekly obituary

Washington Post obituary

Wall Street Journal obituary

No comments: