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Schiffrin, rebel of corporate publishing, dies

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 2, 2013 at 9:34 a.m.

PARIS — Literary editor Andre Schiffrin, who gave readers Art Spiegelman, Michel Foucault and Studs Terkel before he was forced out of commercial publishing in a defining battle between profits and literature, has died in Paris. He was 78.

Schiffrin, who died Sunday of pancreatic cancer, had sought out authors through his final days, dividing his time between New York and Paris as founding editor and editor at large of the nonprofit New Press, said Ellen Adler, the imprint's publisher.

Schiffrin had founded the New Press after his highly public departure from Pantheon Books in 1990. At least four other Pantheon editors walked out with him.

He said he feared for the future of independent ideas in a publishing world increasingly driven by advertising and profits. He believed the best hope for literature was small- and medium-sized publishers.

Schiffrin was born into a Jewish family in Paris on June 14, 1935. The Nazis marched into the city on his fifth birthday, and the following year his family fled to the United States. He began working at Pantheon shortly after Random House bought it in 1961.

Schiffrin is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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