R.I.P. Ann Durell, 87, in May (publisher/editor who worked with Judy Blume, Maurice Sendak, Lloyd Alexander)
(too old to reply)
2018-06-23 15:52:19 UTC
OK, so for the most part, she didn't work with writers of fantasy or SF, but I thought the tiny video below would make this worthwhile.

Aka Ann Durrell McCrory.


Last quarter:

...In a tribute to her editor, and to Durell’s providing the inspiration for what became one of Blume’s most successful book series, Judy Blume told PW, “Without Ann there might be no Fudge. She took me to lunch on the day we met and gently suggested I turn a picture book about a boy who swallowed a turtle into an episodic family novel. I loved the idea, and Ann, too. She had a great sense of humor. When the book was finished I presented her with 20 possible titles and she chose Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. We did five books together and disagreed just once. She thought spiders in an outhouse were scarier/funnier than green, gurgling gas. I fought for green, gurgling gas. She let me have my way.”

Blume continued, “She was a delight in every way. A great editor, a champion for writers. She visited me when I lived in London. She visited in Santa Fe. And everywhere, she walked. She taught me the joys of walking. I remember the day she told me she was in love. All my memories of Ann are like that. She was such a lovely, gracious woman. I’m so lucky to have worked with her.”

Durell even influenced authors whose books she did not edit. In her acceptance speech for the 1978 Newbery Medal, which she won for Bridge to Terabithia, author Katherine Paterson spoke of Durell’s role in the book’s genesis. Paterson had attended a meeting of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, at which Durell was scheduled to speak. “By some chance or design, depending on your theology,” Paterson said, “I was put at the head table.” The lunch discussion turned to everyone asking about each other’s children when Paterson revealed that her young son David’s best friend had been killed by a lighting strike and that her family was grieving with him. “No one interrupted me,” she said. “But when I finally shut up, Ann Durell said very gently, ‘I know this sounds just like an editor, but you should write that story.”...

(shorter notice)

Most of it:

...Ann worked with many noted authors including Maurice Sendak, Ellen Raskin, Lloyd Alexander, Judy Blume, Norma Klein, Steven Kellogg, Daniel Pinkwater and Bill Sleator. A New Yorker profile of Judy Blume recounted how a "gifted editor named Ann Durell" had suggested that Judy turn a rejected picture book about a little boy who swallowed a turtle into the chapter book "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing," the first in a hugely successful series. Among other honors, Ann's authors won both the Caldecott and the Newbery awards. Among publishers Ann was known variously as "the legendary Ann Durell" and "the blessed Ann Durell," the latter because, in what can be a prickly field, she was always a pleasure to work with: firm, but always good-humored and equable. In her second career, as a wife, a stepmother, and a grandmother, she was equally a star--well-prepared by her role as a favorite aunt to her extended family before that. After their marriage Ann and Jim traveled each spring and each fall to England where she was rich in friends. She preferred to stay in one place each trip, learning the local walks, the local shops, and "settling in." They went most often to stay near friends in London, in Rye, and in Bridport, Dorset. Several times Tammy and husband Ken flew in from Hong Kong to join them. Before she met Jim, Ann had a cottage on the Welsh border. She sold that in 1976 to buy, at then-depressed Manhattan prices, a classic six Riverside Drive apartment overlooking the Hudson River. In New York she was active in St. Michael's Episcopal church, tutored children in a nearby public school, and was honored as a 40-year member of the New York Society Library. Ann and Jim had a weekend house in the Catskills while both were working. After retirement they bought their beloved Chatham Oaks home on remote Upper Kimball Pond in the White Mountains. For years they spent their entire summers in New Hampshire, often joined for weeks by their children and friends. Ann's great recreation was walking, as Jim discovered after their first dinner at his bachelor apartment on 47th and 2nd Avenue. Ann suggested they go for a walk. He thought she meant around the block. To his shock, she took him on a three-mile trek up First Avenue to 86th Street and back. Their English vacations took them hundreds of miles on that country's many footpaths. Once in Devon, Ann started out at 2pm for a 12-mile walk to the Bristol Channel coast, along the cliffs of the coastal path, and then back up the Lynn River valley to their cottage...


Her three self-written books are: "Holly River Secret" (1956), "My
Heart's in the Highlands" (1958), and "Lost Bear"(1959).

(five covers)

Career: Junior Literary Guild, New York City, editor in chief,
1960-62; Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York City, children's book
editor, 1962-69; E. P. Dutton, Inc., New York City, publisher and vice
president of children's books, 1969-87; editor at large, 1987--;

Memberships: American Library Association, Children's Book Council
(president), National Council of Teachers of English.

(marriage announcement from 1982)


(short video of Durell talking about Lloyd Alexander's Prydain)

(three Kirkus reviews)

(reader reviews)

Other books not mentioned above:

Just for Fun: A Collection of Original Humorous Stories (1977)

Scenes from childhood by Mary Bruce Sharon (1978)

The Looking Glass Factor by Judith M. Goldberger 1979

Beyond Silence by Eleanor Cameron 1980

Bad Thad by Judy Malloy 1980

The Day I Was Born by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat 1980

Positively No Pets Allowed by Nathan Zimelman 1980

Tyler Toad and the Thunder by Robert L. Crowe and Kay Chorao 1980

My Mother didn't kiss me goodnight by Charlotte Herman 1980

Danny Loves a Holiday by Sydney Taylor and Gail Owens 1980

Bus Ride by Marilyn Sachs, Ann Durell, Amy Rowen, and Stacie Rogoff

My Own Private Sky by Delores Beckman 1980

Help! There's a Cat Washing in Here! by Alison Smith, Claire Counihan,
Ann Durell, and Amy Rowen 1981

The Sick of Being Sick Book by Jovial Bob Stine and Jane Stine 1982

The Diane Goode Book of American Folk Tales&Songs by Ann Durell and
Diane Goode , 1989

The Baby's Lap Book by Kay Chorao 1990

2018-06-23 16:21:17 UTC
Post by l***@yahoo.com
OK, so for the most part, she didn't work with writers of fantasy or SF, but I thought the tiny video below would make this worthwhile.
Aka Ann Durrell McCrory.
If I were still religious I'd suggest she had a long stint in Purgatory
lined up for unleashing Blume upon the world. :)

An admirable career.

Kevin R