Marchant, Anyda 1911–2006

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Marchant, Anyda 1911–2006

(Sarah Aldridge)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born January 27, 1911, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; died of congestive heart failure, January 11, 2006, in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Lawyer, publisher, and author. Marchant was the cofounder of the publishing houses Naiad Press and A&M Books, which released feminist and lesbian books, including Marchant's own novels. Marchant had been interested in writing since her childhood, but she pursued a law degree in school instead of literature. She graduated from what is now George Washington University with a B.A. in 1931, an M.A. in 1933, and an LL.B. in 1936. While still a student, she was inspired by women's rights leader Alice Paul, whom she assisted during Paul's research for the Equal Rights Amendment proposal. Women' rights and feminism would become of central importance to Marchant for the rest of her life. One of the few women lawyers in the country at the time, during World War II Marchant worked in the Law Library for the Library of Congress. However, she quit the job when she was told to take a lower-paying position after a male colleague returned from the war. Refusing to compromise, she moved to Brazil for a time and worked as an interpreter. She came back to the United States, however, and worked for the law firm Coving-ton & Burling in Washington, DC. From 1951 to 1953 she was on the staff of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce in Washington, and she spent the next twenty years as an attorney for the World Bank. After retiring in 1972, Marchant founded Naiad Press with her partner, Muriel Crawford. The first book the publishing house released was Marchant's debut novel, The Latecomer (1974), which was printed under the pen name Sarah Aldridge. Marchant would go on to write a dozen more novels under the Aldridge name, including All True Lovers (1978), Misfortune's Friend (1985), and Nina in the Wilderness (1997). A publishing dispute caused Marchant and Crawford to split from their other shareholders in 1995, and together they created a new publishing company, A&M Books.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Washington Post, February 7, 2006, p. B6.

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