Literary agent Frances Goldin died May 16. A left-wing activist and longtime agent, Goldin, who had been struggling with health issues for years, was 95.
Goldin launched her eponymous firm in 1977. The goal of the Frances Goldin Literary Agency, said Sam Stoloff, was to "champion left-wing authors." Stoloff, who is now president and a senior agent at the firm, said that Goldin, in addition to her career in publishing, was "known for her activism in various movements, especially the fight against real estate development and gentrification in New York."
Her clients were a mix of notable bestselling authors and literary heavyweights, including Dorothy Allison, Barbara Kingsolver, Martin Duberman, Adrienne Rich, Mumia Abu Jamal, and Mike Wallace. The agency changed ownership in 2009, but continues today under the same name.
Goldin's enduring passion was left-wing politics, and Stoloff said that one of the highlights of her career was the 2014 publication of Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA, which featured contributions from a number of her clients and friends.
Stoloff, in an announcement about Goldin's passing, said that she was particularly passionate about establishing affordable housing in her home city of New York. To that end, she was a founder of the Cooper Square Committee, which still exists today and was created, Stoloff said, "to fight predatory redevelopment on [Goldin's] beloved Lower East Side.
Goldin, Stoloff added, became a well-known fixture among civil rights groups in her later years and was, he said, "known for her dependable presence at the Gay Pride Parade in New York, with her famous sign 'I Adore My Lesbian Daughters—Keep Them Safe.'" Stoloff said that, in 2017, Goldin was asked to ride on the lead float in the parade. She also was among the protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement.
"The agency has changed with the times," Stoloff said, "but we will continue to dedicate ourselves to the work that Frances began: the fight for self-determination for all people."
A memorial for Goldin will be announced at a later date, when social gatherings are once again permitted.