Pat Kavanagh, RIP
The New York Times reports:
Pat Kavanagh, a British literary agent whose hauteur, business acumen and abiding aura of mystery kept her distinguished string of writers and publishers fascinated, died on Monday at her home in London. She was 68.In many ways, she was a prototype for Miss Snark, a blog that's been dark since 2007:
“She was glamorous, gorgeous and brilliant, but cutting if she thought you were less than the best,” said Robert Weil, the executive editor of W. W. Norton.Her ability was as legendary as her style:
“She didn’t make it easy,” said Zoë Pagnamenta, a British agent in New York who has worked with many of Ms. Kavanagh’s writers. “You had to earn her respect and trust and friendship, which, when you did, made it all the more valuable. You couldn’t get away with anything, like pretending you liked something — she’d see right through it.”
She developed a reputation for good taste, sound judgment, few words and careful management of her clients’ careers, as well as a stylishly intimidating manner.I wish I had been one of her writers.
“She was never one to undersell anything, and she was always on your case, but there was always the velvet glove,” said Sonny Mehta, the chairman and chief executive of Alfred A. Knopf.