Toni Morrison, 88, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature and the 1988 Pulitzer for fiction, died on Monday night at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Robert Gottlieb, Morrison’s longtime editor at Knopf, said in statement, “She was a great woman and a great writer, and I don’t know which I will miss more.” Sonny Mehta, chairman of Knopf, said: “Toni Morrison’s working life was spent in the service of literature: writing books, reading books, editing books, teaching books. I can think of few writers in American letters who wrote with more humanity or with more love for language than Toni. Her narratives and mesmerizing prose have made an indelible mark on our culture. Her novels command and demand our attention. They are canonical works, and more importantly, they are books that remain beloved by readers.”
Leslie Davisson is joining the Simon & Schuster special markets sales team as national accounts manager, based in Portland, OR and reporting to Jennifer Grojean. She succeeds Helen Griffin, who has accepted a position at Ryland Peters & Small. Davisson was most recently sales and marketing director at Pomegranate Communications.
At Random House Children’s, Anika Bates has joined the licensed and proprietary brands marketing team as marketing coordinator. She previously worked as a publicity and promotions coordinator for Allied Global Marketing. Michelle Kim had joined as designer for the brands and licensing team. She most recently worked at Scholastic as a designer in the educational resource group. Jocelyn Lange has been promoted to director of international rights and proprietary publishing.
Emily Dyer has been promoted to associate marketing manager at Macmillan Audio. Tom Mis has been promoted to producer. At Macmillan Podcasts, Becky Celestina has been promoted to producer and Michelle Margulis to ad operations specialist.
In the UK, Claire Bayliss has been appointed group ceo of The Book People, succeeding Simon Mason who took over the role in January. She has worked since 2012 for private equity firm Endless, which owns The Book People.
Simon & Schuster will publish Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton‘s THE BOOK OF GUTSY WOMEN, about “women with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done,” on October 1.
Harper Focus, the “separate entity” housed within Harper Christian in Nashville, is launching a nonfiction imprint, Harper Horizon, to be led by Andrea Fleck-Nisbet, former director of content acquisitions at Ingram Content Group (who spent 15 years at Workman prior to joining Ingram). The line, debuting in spring 2020 and aiming to publish 15 to 20 books a year, will focus on titles that “encourage readers to live life by embracing values such as: integrity, optimism, patriotism, family-values, community, respect, sacrifice, creativity, hard work, wisdom and inspiration.” Fleck-Nisbet says in the announcement: “At this point of social inflection, readers are hungry for stories and information that speak to the fundamental principles that unite and drive us: family, work, self-discovery and community. I am eager to put books into the hands of readers that will inspire, entertain and encourage them to fully realize their potential. Harper Horizon is well-positioned from a cultural and geographic perspective to do just that.”
Endeavor Group has postponed its planned IPO at least until September, the WSJ reported. Sources said the company will close an another glamorous acquisition first, adding a purchase of of hospitality and live-events company On Location Experiences, for as much as $700 million. “Also behind the delay, the people said: Endeavor wants to be able to tout its second-quarter results and renegotiated contracts for soccer events, which it hopes will help achieve a higher public valuation.” But as this week’s trade-related market plunge has shown, the timing of an IPO can be delicate and if the market continues to turn the company may need to change their plans further. Also complicating matters is that Endeavor “recently disclosed a material weakness’ in its internal controls over financial reporting. People close to the company say this issue, which Endeavor is taking steps to address, wasn’t the catalyst for the delay.”