|Dr. Joyce Brothers|
Near the beginning of 2013 it seemed symbolic when the industry lost a beloved publisher, Peter Workman of Workman Publishing. The outfit is responsible for Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Artisan, Storey Books, Timber Press, and HighBridge Audio. In a year where the entire indstry seemed to be always on their toes, Workman’s passing seemed to set to the tone for what was to come.
And while authors often seem to live to ripe old ages, two June deaths put a lie to that thought when we lost Iain Banks (Stonemouth, Transition) at just 59 and, just over a week later, thriller author Vince Flynn (American Assassin, Term Limits) at 47. Both were lost to cancer.
Though at 87, Elmore Leonard’s age was a more acceptable one for dealing with loss, the world mourned him anyway. And loudly. Leonard (Get Shorty, Out of Sight) had grown to be an elder statesmen of his thriller-focused world and, for a while at least, it seemed as though he would go on forever. Alas, we lost him last August.
Later in the year, we were saddened to cover the losses of some truly great authors, among them Screenwriter Syd Field (77), passages, Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing (94), Lou Reed (72), Tom Clancy (66) and others. The year ended, of course, with the loss of actor and memoirist Peter O’Toole (81) midway through December.