McClelland & Stewart publisher Ellen Seligman died on Friday, the publisher reported. PRH Canada president Kristin Cochrane wrote to staff: “Ellen was widely recognized as one of the world’s best editors, with impeccable literary taste and instincts. Her passion for nurturing and developing Canadian writers was renowned, as was her commitment to publishing in Canada both new and established writers from around the world.” She also notes, “No one who knew Ellen will be surprised to learn that she spent many of her last days meticulously overseeing the final details for her fall books. With extraordinary passion and care, Ellen completed the edit of Steven Price’s novel By Gaslight” recently. Seligman worked for M&S since 1977. By the National Post’s tabulation, “books she edited won a staggering 23 Governor-General’s Literary Awards, four Booker Prizes, and six Giller Prizes.” Her family declined to release her age, or the cause of death to the newspaper. They are holding a private funeral. A public memorial will be announced later.
Jim Harrison, 78, author of more than 30 books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, died Saturday in Patagonia, Arizona. His most recent books were the novel The Big Seven and the poetry collection Dead Man’s Float, both published last year, as well as the novella collection The Ancient Minstrel, published earlier this month. Grove Atlantic president and ceo Morgan Entrekin, Harrison’s publisher for the past 22 years, said in a statement: “His voice came from the American heartland and his deep and abiding love of the American landscape runs through his extraordinary body of work…His unwavering support of this old-fashioned independent literary publisher was one of the reasons we have survived and thrived. America has lost one of its greatest writers, but those of us at Grove Atlantic have lost a member of our family. Our thoughts are with the Harrison family and his many friends all over the world. Jim is gone but his work will live on.”
Founder and longtime co-owner of Quail Ridge Books Nancy Olson, 75, died Sunday from complications of kidney disesase.
Separately, in the UK, founder and former publisher of Arcadia Books Gary Pulsifer died of cancer.
A public remembrance for PJ Horoszko, who died earlier in March, will be held at the Quaker Meeting House on Wednesday, March 30, 5:30-6:30 PM.
In other People news, Kathryn Huck joins Regan Arts as editor at large, focusing on memoir, health and wellness, and general narrative nonfiction. Most recently she was at S&S’s North Star Way.