Seven Stories lost a good friend, one of the great warriors of independent publishing culture, with the passing of Frances Goldin on Saturday. In her later years, electric wheelchair bound, Frances used to pass out large buttons that read something like, "Down with the rich," saying, "I'll give you one if you promise to wear it." It was no small ask. She was an organizer at heart. Being involved in book culture was her way of organizing people on the side of human rights and social justice. And she was very good at this.
Frances Goldin at Occupy Wall Street, 2011 (c. Ryan Joseph)
This morning's NYTimes obit mentions but underplays her devotion to one of her clients, Mumia Abu Jamal, whom she visited regularly on Death Row, and for whom she got arrested at every opportunity. She succeeded in most of her life goals, the only one remaining at her death was Mumia's freedom, something she sought with her whole being. She shall be missed. But her mission continues, in the countless important books she found homes for, in the agents whom she mentored and who continue the work at her agency, including Ria Julian and Sam Stoloff, and in all of us who knew her and learned from her.
Publisher, Seven Stories Press