Laura Hruska, Soho Press Editor-in-Chief

Monday, January 11, 2010, 6:41 PM

I first met Laura Hruska in March 2009 when I called into the Soho Press office, near Union Square in New York City, to discuss my debut novel which she had acquired for her respected independent press. She was a lady of senior years, and slight build, but had a fierce intelligence about her that burned so bright you couldn't fail to see it. She was also clearly a deeply passionate publisher, and I was sure from then on that I was in good hands at Soho. But then, I already knew that, seeing as everybody I mentioned Soho Press to, including my agent, told me Laura was one of the best in the business.

I met Laura for a second time, again at her office near Union Square, when I visited New York once more in October 2009, just as I was embarking on the US tour Soho had generously organised for me. This time I noticed Laura was a little frail, but still she had that diamond-bright presence that stood out in a room full of very bright people. I gave her a box of confectionery I'd bought from the chocolatier next door as a small thank you for the work she and everyone at Soho had done for me. It seems like a very, very small thank you now.

I learned today that Laura Hruska passed away on Saturday after a long illness. This news has deeply saddened me. My heart goes out to Laura's loved ones, and all those who worked with and respected her, both within Soho Press and throughout the wider publishing community. I owe Laura a huge debt of gratitude for giving my writing career such a great start in America, and I will be forever thankful. I feel honoured to have known her for the short time I did.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Stuart, I'm so sorry. Thank you for telling us about her.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Really sorry to hear this.

7:29 PM  
Blogger ssas said...

So sad to lose such a sharp presence in the industry. I've actually heard her name beyond your mentioning her, but this is a beautiful tribute.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Sorry, man.


10:24 PM  
Blogger Gary Corby said...

How very sad.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Jamie Eyberg said...

That is a pity. Who knows how many she has helped through the years.

12:18 AM  
Blogger elliot said...

Very nice words about Laura Hruska - i'm a fellow soho author - we will all miss her.

3:19 AM  
Blogger Other Lisa said...

Thanks for writing this, Stuart. I wish I could have met her. She sounded like a true original -- dedicated, passionate, idiosyncratic.


(another Soho author)

6:38 AM  
Blogger McKoala said...

What sad news. But I'm glad she was there to give you such a great start.

9:19 AM  
Blogger moonrat said...

I'm sorry, Stuart. I heard from Janet yesterday, and you were the first person I thought of. She was a real star.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Janet Reid said...

She will be greatly missed indeed.

12:50 AM  

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