The Elaine Markson ‘51 Award will be given to a member of the publishing industry who champions books and authors that represent the viewpoints and experiences of diverse races, religions, abilities, preferences and backgrounds.

Elaine Markson ‘51 was among the first women to own a literary agency. Over the years, she championed the works of feminist authors as well as those deemed controversial. Her clients included Grace Paley, Andrea Dworkin, Salman Rushdie, Abbie Hoffman, Phyllis Cheslerand Alice Hoffman. 

As Hoffman wrote in a tribute for Literary Hub: “Elaine was the one agent in America who didn’t [only] care about making deals. She was there for the authors, and I know that she was always there for me. … I would not have had the courage to become a writer without her.

This award named in her honor will be given to a publishing professional who is carrying on Markson’s legacy by advocating for authors and books that portray the viewpoints and experiences of those of diverse races, religions, abilities, preferences and backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in publishing. Adelphi University is proud to be associated with this award for excellence that celebrates our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

2024 Recipient

Lisa Lucas

Photo credit: Beowulf-Sheehan

Lisa Lucas

Lisa Lucas is the SVP & Publisher of Pantheon and Schocken Books at Penguin Random House. Formerly, she was Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, the Publisher of Guernica, and the Director of Education at the Tribeca Film Institute.

Festival Coordinator

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