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Jane Isay
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Author of the forthcoming Mom Still Likes You Best: The Unfinished Business Between Siblings (Doubleday, May 4), Jane Isay spent over 40 years in the book business as an editor and publisher. She spent 15 years at the Yale University Press before coming to New York publishing, where she was an executive at Basic Books, Simon & Schuster, Addison-Wesley, Putnam, and Harcourt. For the next 25 years, she helped experts write for the general audience. She published Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child), Mary Pipher (Reviving Ophelia) Antonio Damasio (Descartes’ Error), and Rachel Simmons (Odd Girl Out), and also some outstanding nonfiction including Praying for Sheetrock, by Melissa Fay Greene, Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissinger, and Woe is I, by Patricia O’Conner.


She has served on the boards of a number of university presses and currently chairs the board of The New Press, in New York City. She and her husband live in Manhattan.

Entries by Jane Isay

Betrayal: After the Anger, What Do You Do With the Love?

(3) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 11:57 AM

When a thunderbolt strikes, and you learn a secret that changes your life -- either making you rethink the past, or causing you to re-imagine the future, anger at the betrayal is natural. The rage courses through your body, cauterizing the pain over time, and energizing your efforts to adjust...

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Peter O'Toole Before Lawrence of Arabia

(1) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 12:57 PM

It was the summer of 1960, and I was on my way to visit my English boyfriend and his family in London. My flight was a day late in arriving, and after a hasty welcome, John Libson and I hustled off to Stratford upon Avon. We had to get there,...

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How A Mother's Shame Can Morph Over Time

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 6:32 AM

As I walked out of my mother's room in Mt. Sinai hospital that summer day in 1982, I ran into my cousin, who was a surgical resident on her floor. My mother was recovering from the second surgery in six months. The cancer could not be stopped.

"How's Mom doing?...

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When Love and Money Are at War

(1) Comments | Posted June 22, 2010 | 11:20 AM

I was fascinated by William Glaberson's dramatic front page New York Times coverage of the battle between two of C.C. Wang's children over his formidable -- and newsworthy -- estate, said to be the greatest collection of ancient Chinese art in the West. C.C. Wang had already donated...

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Performance Reviews In The Publishing Industry: Advantage, Boss

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2010 | 2:01 PM

Last Tuesday's New York Times included a piece by Tara Parker-Pope on research that points out the perils of performance reviews, a commonly used tool of human-resources departments. She reports that Samuel A. Culbert argues in his new book, Get Rid of Performance Reviews that "annual reviews not...

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Why So Anxious, My Dear?

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2010 | 5:03 PM

I've been in the book business since 1962, longer than most of you have been alive. As an editor, I have been honored to publish many terrific books -- some of them successful -- and I have enjoyed working with literally hundreds of publishing colleagues. I know the ropes....

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How I Found Alice Miller, and Lost Her

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2010 | 1:52 PM

Tuesday's New York Times carried the obituary of Alice Miller, the Swiss psychoanalyst and author. Of her life story, the Times said, she was not forthcoming. This much was known: she lived in Warsaw during the war and studied there. Alice Miller's fame in America began with the publication of...

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A Mom Reviews Her Son's Book, Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2010 | 4:10 PM

If you're looking for criticism of this book, you might look elsewhere. I'm writing about my son's newest volume, published today by the Penguin Press, and I won't surprise you with negativity. I will tell you what the book is and the effect it had on me.

MOM presents bits...

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A Talking Cure

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2010 | 12:30 PM

Last week, scientist Joanne Malkus Simpson died at the age of 86. A pioneer in the study of clouds and hurricanes, she is considered to be one of the most important meteorologists of the 20th century. She worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center for the last 30 years of...

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Wolf Hall or Wolf Blitzer?

(9) Comments | Posted January 21, 2010 | 4:45 PM

The news is on my nerves. I'm feeling sad for the world, and for my country. By now the sights that emerge around the clock from Haiti don't teach me anything more than I already know about the suffering; the only thing they do is drive up my anxiety level....

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Ode to My Neighborhood Bookstore

(4) Comments | Posted December 14, 2009 | 12:13 PM

I live on 96th Street and Madison Avenue in New York City. I often take a walk down one side of Madison, and up the other. Every rooftop, every store, every corner has a memory for me, and I sometimes imagine myself as Mrs. Dalloway, and Madison Avenue as my...

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Remembering Ramparts

(2) Comments | Posted November 10, 2009 | 6:29 PM

If you used to read Ramparts, raise your hand. You probably would enjoy A Bomb in Every Issue, Peter Richardson's biography of Ramparts magazine. If you hated Ramparts, don't bother; this book will probably raise your blood pressure. If you never read Ramparts, read this book, because it tells the...

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Kindle Confessions

(4) Comments | Posted October 9, 2009 | 10:40 AM

My name is Jane and I'm a Kindle addict. I spent over forty years as an editor, and I love the feel of books, the look of books, and even the smell of books. I'm a speed-reader with a taste for mysteries, and I used to gobble up the freebies...

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