Christopher Carduff, books editor at the Wall Street Journal and former contributing editor at Library of America, died on August 14 at New York University Hospital following complications related to a sudden brain bleed and blood clot. He was 66.
Carduff graduated from Macalester College in 1979 and, after many years in bookselling, he attended the Radcliffe (now Columbia) Publishing Course. His publishing career included jobs at Addison-Wesley Publishers, the New Criterion magazine, Houghton Mifflin, Counterpoint Press, and David R. Godine Publishers.
From 2006 to 2017, he was an editor and publishing consultant at the Library of America, overseeing the publication of American classics. He conceived and supervised multivolume editions of the collected works of many writers, including Jane Bowles, Shirley Jackson, Carson McCullers, Katherine Anne Porter, Virgil Thomson, Kurt Vonnegut, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Carduff expanded the scope of the Library of America series by embracing graphic novels and children's literature. A lifelong sports fan, he also developed projects outside the core LOA series, among them String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis, American Pastimes: The Very Best of Red Smith, and Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu: John Updike on Ted Williams.
In 2017, he was named books editor at the Wall Street Journal.
An expert on the work of John Updike, he was a trustee for the John H. Updike Literary Trust. As the publishing consultant to the Trust, he edited Updike's Higher Gossip, Always Looking, Collected Stories, and Selected Poems, as well as multiple collections of Updike’s novels. He also recently oversaw a forthcoming collection of his letters.
In addition to Updike, Chris was the estate-appointed editor of posthumous works by Maeve Brennan, Penelope Fitzgerald, Daniel Fuchs, and William Maxwell.
He lived in New York City with his wife, the cookbook editor Elizabeth Skinner Carduff, and was the father of Emily Van Brunt Carduff and Eliot Skinner Carduff.
Donations in Carduff’s name can be made towards a Christopher Carduff Scholarship at the Columbia University Publishing Course. Contact Elizabeth Carduff at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.