Blanche Wolf Knopf
Blanche W. Knopf made the publishing firm she shared with her husband one of the most respected in the world, bringing some of the greatest American and European thinkers of the twentieth century to an American audience. From its launch in 1915, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. was a joint husband-wife venture, and by 1921, Blanche Knopf began taking a leadership role as director and then vice president. Her business sense and fluency in multiple languages made her the ideal travelling publisher’s agent, meeting all the major European publishers and beginning to cultivate authors that included André Gide, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Elizabeth Bowen, Ilya Ehrenburg, Mikhail Sholokov, Thomas Mann, and Sigmund Freud, and American talents like Willa Cather and H.L. Mencken. She also sought out popular writers such as Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Khalil Gibran, whose 1923 Prophet became one of the firm’s all-time bestsellers. Her gift for both seeking out new talent and cultivating her existing stable of writers with star-studded parties and aggressive advertising campaigns contributed massively to the publishing firm’s success. In 1957, when Alfred became chair of the board, Blanche succeeded him as president.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Blanche Wolf Knopf ." (Viewed on September 17, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/knopf-blanche>.