Lynn C. Franklin, literary agent and memoir on adoption, dies at 74

Lynn C. Franklin, a literary scout and agent whose clients included Archbishop Desmond Tutu and who made his mark with his own book, in which he told his personal story about leaving his son up for adoption in the 1960s Shared, he died on July 19. House in Manhattan. She was 74 years old.

The cause was metastatic breast cancer, said her sister, Laurie Franklin Callahan.

In the early 1970s, Ms. Franklin, who had grown up around the world as an Army brat, established a career as a scout for international publishers, researching the rights to upcoming titles in North America and purchased so that they can be translated and published. in other countries.

He founded his boutique literary agency in New York, Lynn C. Franklin Associates, which specialized in works of non-fiction, and represented a number of writers who excelled in their fields. the most prominent of them was Archbishop TutuNobel laureate from South Africa, who helped lead the struggle against apartheid and with whom she was close friends. He sold the rights to several of his books, including “No Future Without Forgiveness” (1999), his post-apartheid memoir. Truth and Reconciliation Commission, of which he was the chairman.

But he also had his own book close to his heart.”May the Circle Be Unbroken: An Intimate Journey into the Heart of Adoption(1998, with Elizabeth Ferber), an account of her experience as a birth mother who gave up her son for adoption in 1966 and was reunited with him 27 years later. More than a memoir, the book serves as a guide as it considers many aspects of adoption not only from the point of view of the birth mother but also from the point of view of the adopted child and the adoptive family.

Ms Franklin was a 19-year-old college student at American University in Washington when she learned she was pregnant, but didn’t tell anyone, including the baby’s father. She was planning to marry him, but two days before the wedding, she was released on bail. “He was a boy without much ambition,” he said in an online interview in April. “It was clear it wouldn’t work.”

After her parents learned of her pregnancy, they sent her to a home for single mothers on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Being single and pregnant was still considered reprehensible, and Ms Franklin was instructed to put her child up for adoption. She wanted to keep him until he was born, but she also realized, she said, that adoption could give her opportunities she couldn’t.

“I wasn’t ready to be a parent, but nobody tried to think about what was good for me, and nobody said you had a choice,” she said on the online program.

For years she believed that the secrecy surrounding the closed adoption process, in which the birth mother has little or no contact with the child or the adoptive family, contributed to her feelings of shame, guilt, and poor self-esteem.

He had sent off his son through Spence-Chapin Services for Families and Children. Years later, she and her son, both independently of each other, registered with the agency and said they wanted to meet. They met again in 1993, when their father was dying.

She wrote in her book, “I found myself experiencing intermittent sadness along with complete joy and excitement.” It was only after she became a part of her son’s life that she began to recover from the “primary wound” of losing him. But she also recognized that her adoptive parents were clearly her parents.

While his career as a literary agent was flourishing, he continued to work toward adoption reform. She believed that mothers who decided to give up their children after the adoption was finalized should not be allowed to change their mind, that “there should be accountability and a point of ‘no return'”. prescribed and must be obeyed by law,” as he wrote in an essay in Newsday in 1995.

He also served on the board of Spence-Chapin and Donaldson Adoption Institute.

The Kirkus review called his memoir “absorbed”. and “a thorough, stimulating discourse on nearly every aspect of the joys and sorrows of all those involved in the adoption process.”

Lynn Celia Franklin was born on August 18, 1946 in Chicago. His father, Colonel Joseph B. Franklin, was a career Army officer. His mother, Theresa (Levi) Franklin, who was born in Britain, was an antiques dealer.

While at Army bases, Lin attended eight different elementary schools, starting first grade in Sapporo, Japan, and finishing eighth grade in Orléans, France. She graduated from high school in Fairfax, VA, and went to American University in Washington, graduating in 1968 with a degree in French.

While working at Kramer Books in Washington and later with the French publisher Hachette in New York, he turned to literary life.

Ms. Franklin went out on her own in 1976 and built on her global connections to become a literary scout for international publishers. He participated in the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany for 41 consecutive years.

One of his early successes as an agent was the publication of Edward Radzinski’s “The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II” (1992), which was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and became a New York Times best seller. Went.

She . was the first woman to promote the work of Deepak Chopra, Wellness & Meditation Megastar. also included in his stables Refer Johnson, Olympian acclaimed as the greatest all-round athlete in the world ever; Jodie Williams, who shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, of which Ms. Williams was the driving force; Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland; And Lee Cockerell, Service industry veteran and retired executive vice president of Walt Disney World.

In 1983, Ms. Franklin bought a house on Shelter Island, NY, and as she continued her peripatetic life, she came to Shelter Island, on Long Island’s East End, as home.

In 1992, Todd R. Siegel to form Franklin & Siegel Associates, now owned by Mr. Siegel, representing more than 20 publishers worldwide and researching books for Hollywood.

Ms Franklin was reunited with her son, Hardy Stevens, who was given a pseudonym in her book, just as he and his wife were expecting their first child. He was welcomed into his family and was overjoyed to get to know his two grandchildren and take them on trips. Besides his sister, he and his son survive.

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