Miriam Butwin, a University of Minnesota Press journalist at an interesting time in journalism history, died January 12, at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, according to a friend and former colleague of UMP. Lindsay Waters.
Butwin, 85, lived in northeast Minneapolis until she entered the Sholom home in St. Louis Park. Waters described her as “a key person in the development of the modern University of Minnesota Press.”
Waters says he helped capture national press attention in the 1970s and early 80s with his book series The Theory and History of Literature. “Nobody worked alone, and Miriam was the key player in the CEO role,” he recalls.
“Sometimes, you do things that people can’t know you’re doing,” Waters said in a phone interview from his home in Belmont, Mass.
“No one expected University of Minnesota Press became the leading publisher of literary theory in the United States at a time when that theory was gaining prominence. It’s interesting that our books come from a place that other people can’t even find on a map. People from the coast call us ‘land across the sea’ but we have become Lake Itasca for the literary theory boom in the United States that has been covered by the New York Times and Chronicle of Higher Education and other publications to these books. “
Butwin is the daughter of Frances and Julius Butwin, who ran Bookhunters in Minneapolis’ Dinkytown bookstore in the 1940s. Together they translated works by Yiddish writer Sholom Aleichem, including stories that inspired ” Fiddler on the Roof. ”
After Butwin left the University of Minnesota Press, she worked for many years for B. Dalton Booksellers.
Butwin’s siblings Joseph of Seattle, and David of Oleona, NJ David is a “gofer” at Pioneer Press and writes for the Minneapolis Tribune. His memoir about growing up in St Paul’s Highland Park is titled, “A Minnesota Kid: In Search of Heroes and Ghosts. ”
https://www.twincities.com/2022/01/14/obituary-miriam-butwin-was-instrumental-in-growth-of-university-of-minnesota-press/ Miriam Butwin was instrumental in the development of the University of Minnesota Press