Novelist Kent Haruf, 71, has died, his editor Gary Fisketjon confirmed to the Washington Post on Sunday. The new issue of Granta has an autobiographical essay by Haruf, and his novel OUR SOULS AT NIGHT is due to be published next year. Fisketjon said, “Kent had finished all his revisions and even gone through the copy editing. We had it scheduled for May, though I haven’t yet processed how this tragic news might alter those plans.”
PD James, 94, the British crime writer and member of the House of Lords, died Thursday morning at her home in Oxford. She was the author of 19 novels, most notably the Inspector Dalgliesh series, which began with COVER HER FACE (1962) and closed with THE PRIVATE PATIENT (2008), as well as two novels featuring private detective Cordelia Gray, the standalone THE CHILDREN OF MEN (1992) and, most recently, DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY (2011), a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. James’ longtime editor at Knopf Charles Elliott said in a statement: “Phyllis broke the bounds of the mystery genre. Her books were in a class of their own, consistently entertaining yet as well-written and serious as any fiction of our time. She was, moreover, a delight to be around and work with, beloved by readers and her publishers around the world. We will all miss her.” Many tributes have poured in since James’ publishers announced her passing, most notably from Ruth Rendell, Louise Penny, and Val McDermid.
Poet and winner of the Pulitzer Prize Mark Strand, 80, died November 29 at his daughter’s home in Brooklyn. Strand was awarded the MacArthur grant in 1987, named poet laureate of the US in 1990, and won the Pulitzer in 1999 for his collection BLIZZARD OF ONE.
Bertelsmann chief financial officer Judith Hartmann will leave the company on January 31, 2015. Hartmann joined Bertelsmann’s executive board in October 2012. Until the board announces her successor, ceo Thomas Rabe will assume interim responsibility for the financial department. Bertelsmann supervisory board chair Christoph Mohn said in a statement: “The Supervisory Board regrets Judith Hartmann’s departure and wishes her all the best for her personal and professional future. Judith Hartmann provided essential input for key strategic milestones in Bertelsmann’s transformation into a faster-growing, more digital and more international company. She has been instrumental in the successful placement of RTL Group shares, and initiated and advanced the Group-wide Operational Excellence program. Bertelsmann is on a very solid financial foundation and is excellently equipped for its future development.”
Meg Leder has moved over to Penguin Books as executive editor, reporting to Patrick Nolan. Previously she was executive editor at Perigee.
Helen Tobin has joined Knopf as publicist. Previously she was associate publicist at Little, Brown. In addition, Brittany Morrongiello has been promoted to publicist.
Former Washington Post Book World editor Marie Arana is due to be named co-director of the National Book Festival, the Washington Post appeared to announce prematurely over the weekend.
As you may have already read, President Obama visited Washington, DC’s Politics and Prose bookstore again on “Small Business Saturday” and purchased 17 books. He spoke with author David Baldacci, who was working in the store as part of the Indies First initiative.
Mary Anne Thompson Associates has been appointed US scout for Ravensburger in Germany for the children’s/YA market.
The category winners were named in the UK’s National Book Awards, with public voting underway for the overall book of the year. The winners included The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer (popular fiction); Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe (nonfiction); and Us by David Nicholls (author of the year).
Jessie Burton‘s debut novel THE MINIATURIST was chosen as Waterstones’ Book of the Year.