E.L. Doctorow, 84, author of critically admired and award-winning novels such as Ragtime and Billy Bathgate, died Tuesday in Manhattan from complications of lung cancer. Before turning to fiction full-time, Doctorow worked as an editor at NAL and then Dial Press (where he became editor-in-chief). Among the many honors Doctorow received throughout his career included the National Book Award, three National Book Critics Circle Awards, two PEN Faulkner Awards, the Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction, and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal.
Doctorow’s longtime editor at Random House Kate Medina said in a statement: “Edgar’s work has always been ascendant, always steeped in the new, with original language, surprising storytelling, rigorous thought and standards of truth. Through books of great beauty and power, and characters I’ll never forget, he showed us America’s great flaws and its astonishing promise, and our own. Edgar was fun, even as he was holding all of us to the high standards he set for himself. To be with him was to be at one’s best; to read him was to discover, again and again, the joy of reading a master.” Random House Publishing Group president and publisher Gina Centrello added: “Edgar Doctorow was one of the great creative minds of our time. We were honored to publish him, and his legacy will continue at Random House. He was sharp and funny, vocal and opinionated, and he inspired readers with every book, every story, and every essay. We will all miss our author and friend dearly.”
In personnel news, Steven Morgan has rejoined Simon & Schuster as vp, technology, reporting to Liz Perl. Previously he was chief technology officer at Eversport, and served as vp, engineering/cto for S&S in 2008. In addition, Adam Feifer has been named director, email marketing, reporting to Adrian Norman. He was most recently director of direct marketing at Coach.
At Ten Speed Press, Emily Timberlake has been promoted to senior editor.
Sarah Levitt will be working as an agent with both Kuhn Projects and Zachary Shuster Harmsworth out of the two firms’ shared New York City office as of August 10. She spent the past five years as an agent at the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency.
Eric Brandt has been named assistant director/editor-in-chief and humanities editor at the University of Virginia Press. Previously he was executive editor at Stanford University Press.
At Canada’s Ampersand, two-time CBA Rep of the Year Dot Middlemass is retiring in mid-August and moving to Mexico. Dani Farmer has joined the company and will take over Middlemass’s sales territory. She was previously at D+Q, Dundurn and most recently at Orca on customer service.