Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A passing

Sorry for the blurry photo but it's the only one I have including Laura Hruska, my editor at Soho. She passed away this weekend. Left to right: me, Katie Herman editor at Soho, Mick Herron crime writer, Laura Hruska, Garry Disher crime writer and Bronwen Hruska Soho publisher. This was taken in NY in May.

This Publishers Weekly short notice tells more about her professional life:

A memorial has been set for Soho Press editor-in-chief, Laura Hruska, who died Saturday after a long sickness. One of the founders of Soho, Hruska also served as publisher of the house until last month when her daughter, Bronwen, took over the position. The service will be held Friday, January 15, at 11:30 a.m. at the Campbell Funeral Home on 1076 Madison Avenue in Manhattan.

Hruska, who started Soho Press in 1986 with her husband Alan and friend (and former Dial Press editor-in-chief) Juris Jurjevics, was 74. Hruska helped launched the careers of numerous authors at Soho, including Edwidge Danticat and Garth Stein. With an undergraduate degree from Cornell and a J.D. from Yale, Hruska began her career as a lawyer and worked as a litigator for a number of years before she quit to raise her children and pursue a writing career. In 1976 Dutton published two novels she had written, A Change of Heart and Legal Relations, under the pen name Laura Chapman.

Sarah Weinman in her column noted Laura also helped launch the careers of Jacqueline Winspear, Dan Fesperman, Sara Gran, Martin Limon, Henry Chang, Stuart Neville, Leighton Gage, James Benn, Rebecca Pawel, me and many others.

Laura was my editor for nine books. I owe her so much. Her warmth, her kindness, her vision and brilliance. The laser like way she honed a sentence, helped me see what I was trying to say in that patient way she had of asking questions. Her knowledge of obscure French facts and names...a million things. I'm blessed she edited my next book and put it to copy edits before going to the hospital. Taking care of everything to the last. But that was Laura. I miss her.

Cara - Tuesday


  1. Hi Cara, I read this in Stuart's blog too. Very sad. My sympathies to Laura's family and everyone who knew her.


  2. Thanks, Gary. Your wishes are much appreciated. She will be missed.


  3. I'm sorry to hear that because those authors you've mention whose careers she launched have given hours and hours of wonderful entertainment.

  4. Dear Cara,

    I'm so sorry for your loss.


  5. Cara -- so sorry to hear this. Soho is one of the publishing companies that seems to adhere to a kind of vision that's book-driven rather than market-driven. Just read an interview with a writer -- damn, I can't remember who -- whose editor said about some good reviews, "They translate into sales," and the writer said, "I prefer to think of them as readers."

    Soho seems like a company that's run by readers, for readers, and their slate of writers, including you, Leighton, my friend Colin Cotterill, Martin Limon, and others -- bears that out.

    Laura must have been someone special.