Literary agent Loretta Barrett, 74, died peacefully in Manhattan from complications of a brain tumor, her agency reports. Barrett began working in publishing in 1967 as an editor at Anchor Press, where she was promoted to editor-in-chief in 1970. She left Doubleday in 1990 to start her agency, Loretta Barrett Books. Barrett served on board of directors of Reading is Fundamental for 32 years, most recently as secretary, and in 2011 the organization honored her efforts, reporting that she was personally responsible for an estimated 3 million new books being given to poor American children to keep as their own.
A mass will be held at 10 AM on Tuesday morning, October 14, at the Church of St. Francis Xavier, 46 West 16 Street in New York, NY and a celebration of her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers it was her wish that friends and family make a donation to:
Reading is Fundamental
1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Suite 1100,
Washington DC 20036
Deborah Kaufmann has joined Legendary Entertainment as vp, literary affairs, based in New York, where she will evaluate and pursue book adaptation opportunities for Legendary’s film, television and digital divisions. She was both a senior editor at Calmann-Levy and head of Orbit France.
Jeff Berg’s talent agency Resolution, founded in 2013 after he left ICM, will close, it was announced yesterday. The agency was originally backed by over $200 million from Najafi Companies, which declined to keep adding capital by the end of last year. The newer funder, China’s Bison Capital, has declined to add any further to their estimated contribution of another $2oo million in funding. The move is most significant to publishing given Resolution’s place in the book-to-film business. Shari Smiley had already left Resolution in early August to join Gotham Group’s literary and book department, though as far as we know Rich Green is still with Resolution.
Digital textbook distributor RedShelf has hired Tom Scotty as their chief operating officer. He was previously co-president at Macmillan Higher Education, where he worked for over 17 years.
In awards news, Canada’s Giller Prize announced their shortlist on Monday:
David Bezmogzis, The Betrayers (Little, Brown/Harper Canada)
Frances Itani, Tell (Black Cat (forthcoming)/Harper Canada)
Sean Michaels, Us Conductors (Tin House/RH Canada)
Heather O’Neill, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night (FSG/Harper Canada)
Miriam Toews, All My Puny Sorrows (McSweeney’s/Knopf Canada)
Padma Viswanathan, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao (RH Canada)
The Governor General’s Literary Awards also announced their shortlists Tuesday in a number of categories, with the winners to be announced on November 18. The fiction finalists include:
Michael Crummey, Sweetland (Liveright/Doubleday Canada)
Bill Gaston, Juliet Was a Surprise (Hamish Hamilton)
Claire Holden Rothman, My October (Penguin Canada)
Thomas King, The Back of the Turtle (Harper Canada)
Joan Thomas, The Opening Sky (McClelland & Stewart)
Effective January 2015, Lerner Publishing Services will distribute Big & Small titles exclusively in the US and Canada.