Former Executive Vice President and Worldwide Head of Literary Operations for William Morris Agency Owen Laster, 72, died this morning after a short illness. Laster represented a distinguished and diverse roster of bestselling and literary authors, ranging from Ralph Ellison, Chaim Potok, Robert Penn Warren, Gay Talese, Edward Albee, and Gore Vidal, to James Michener, Dominic Dunne, Susan Isaacs, Andrew Grove, William Diehl, and Judith McNaught. A New Jersey native, Laster graduated from Syracuse University, and after serving in the Army worked at William Morris for over forty years.
Laura Nolan has joined Paradigm as a literary agent and will serve as head of the agency’s book publishing division, starting March 14. Nolan will “work with closely with agents Alyssa Reuben and Jason Yarn in the department.” She has been at DeFiore and Company since it absorbed the agents from The Creative Culture.
Cate Cannon has joined Canongate as digital content developer. Previously she was acting marketing director at Headline.
Brando Skyhorse has has won the Hemingway/PEN Award for first fiction for his novel The Madonnas of Echo Park (Free Press).
Louis Begley, Rita Dove and Michael Cunningham are among those elected into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Children’s author Steven Kroll died Wednesday night at the age of 69. He was the author of more than ninety picture books, chapter books, and young adult novels, with three new titles set to be released later this year.
The organizers of the Guadalajara International Book Fair will launch LeaLA, reportedly the first Spanish-language book fair in California. The free, three-day event will take place from April 29-May 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and Isabel Allende and Laura Restrepo are among 40 authors slated to attend.