PEN is saddened by the loss of Carol Southern who passed away July 2 in New York, after complications arising from cancer surgery. Southern first became known for her ‘style’ books (Hi-Tech, Italian Style, etc.) at Random House in the late 1970s and early 1980s, during which time she discovered Martha Stewart. She was executive editor of Clarkson Potter from 1976-1981, helping to establish its reputation as a publisher of quality, commercially viable nonfiction and illustrated books  and was editor-in-chief of the imprint from 1981 to 1993, when she was awarded her own imprint, Carol Southern Books. Some of her titles include: Smart Women, Foolish Choices, How to Make Love to a Man, When Kafka was the Rage.

Although best known for lifestyle books, Southern edited a wide range of books, including a Jackson Pollock biography, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981. She also helped create the Angelina Ballerina books.

Southern became acquainted with publishing when she returned to New York in the early 1960s after living abroad with her husband, legendary author and screenwriter Terry Southern. Their circle of friends included William Styron, George Plimpton, Peter Mathiessen, John Marquand, Larry Rivers, Jerry Leiber, and playwrights Arthur Kopit, Jack Gelber and Arnold Weinstein. After her marriage to Southern ended in 1965, Southern married Alex Keneas, a film critic for Newsday (who died in 1986), and had recently edited and helped to publish a book in English by her 87 year-old Greek boyfriend George Passpati, Dead Reckoning; A Memoir of World War II in the Aegean.

Further reading:
Publishers Weekly: Carol Southern, Renowned Lifestyles Editor