Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Passings: Dantry, Janson-Smith and Ferrone

Publishers Lunch

Owner of former Pittsburgh bookstore Jay's Book Stall (opened in 1959, closed in 2008) Jay Dantry, 87, died on Sunday after a long illness. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes, "Under his guidance, Jay's Book Stall became one of the premier bookstores in the country, a mandatory stop in Pittsburgh for touring writers." Michael Chabon adds, "I'll always be grateful to him for the year I spent working at the Book Stall.... The staff wasn't like a family, it was a family."

Former literary agent Peter Janson-Smith, 93, has died. He worked for A D Peters and Curtis Brown UK before setting up the PJS Ltd agency in 1956. Janson-Smith represented Ian Fleming, and spent over 30 years as executive trustee of the Pooh Properties Trust.

Former book editor John Ferrone, 91, died on April 10, of complications of Parkinson's. He started his career at Dell and finished at Harcourt, editing Alice Walker, Anais Nin, and the short stories of Eudora Welty, and helped commission The James Beard Cookbook.

Walker tells the NYT, "John Ferrone was one of the best editors I ever worked with, and I've worked with a few. He was patient, caring, incredibly sensitive to narrative structure and tone and didn't seem to mind that I never informed him beforehand what I would be sending him." 

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