My good friend and editor Eden Ross Lipson died on Tuesday after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She beat the odds and survived for considerably longer than was predicted. And for the extra time spent with this remarkable person, many are truly grateful.
Eden, who was 66, is former children’s books editor of The New York Times, and atireless champion of children’s books and literacy. She had been an editor at the New York Times Book Review for 31 years, and had served as its children’s editor from 1984 until retiring in 2005. She was the author of The New York Times Parent’s Guide to the Best Books for Children (Three Rivers), which is in its third edition. And this fall, Roaring Brook will publish a picture book written by Eden (her first), Applesauce Season, about a family tradition (illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein). She received the first copy the week before she passed away.
She presided over the Best Illustrated Books of the Year and the special seasonal children’s book supplements that I had the privilege to art direct. Eden loved great illustration and illustrators, and she encouraged me to work with some of the best for these sections. I will miss her glowing smile and boisterous laugh. Oh yes, and her unbridled enthusiasm, which can be most rare. Here is a remembrance by Julie Just, current children’s book editor. (Covers below from top to bottom: Richard Beards, Paul Davis, Brett Helquist. Photo of Eden by Robbin Gourley.)