George Braziller, an independent and self-taught publisher for more than 50 years who supported early novels by Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller and released fiction by Nobel laureates Orhan Pamuk and Claude Simon, has died. He was 101.
A spokesman for his publishing house, George Braziller Inc., told The Associated Press that Braziller died Thursday at the Mary Manning Walsh Home in Manhattan after a brief illness. Braziller had stepped down as publisher at age 95 and turned over the company to his son, Michael Braziller.
He had been running two book clubs when he decided to become a publisher and, with his wife, Marsha, founded George Braziller Inc. in 1955. Over the next half-century, he acquired works from Turkey’s Pamuk to Irish author-director Neil Jordan to New Zealand’s Janet Frame, whose memoir “An Angel at My Table” helped inspire a film by Jane Campion.
“I was doubly fortunate in the early years to have no preconception about my role as a publisher,” Braziller told author Al Silverman for “The Times of Their Lives,” a publishing history released in 2008. “I simply felt I was on the quest to know more about the world and how others interpreted it, and every new discovery opened to others.
Braziller was well connected to the French literary scene. He released translations of many prominent writers, including Sartre, Simon, Marguerite Duras and Nathalie Sarraute, who became one of his best friends.
In the 1960s, he began acquiring art books and enjoyed critical and commercial approval.
For his Book Find Club, which he started in the early 1940s, he selected Mailer’s debut novel, “The Naked and the Dead.” Braziller became close with Miller after choosing his first book, “Focus.”
Born in Brooklyn in 1916, Braziller was the son of Russian immigrants. Marsha Braziller died in 1970. They had two sons.