NEW YORK — Susan Kamil, a revered editor and publisher who found critical and commercial success with authors ranging from Salman Rushdie and Ta-Nehisi Coates to Elizabeth Strout and Sophie Kinsella, has died at age 69.
Random House Publishing Group President Gina Centrello announced that Kamil died Sunday, eight days before her 70th birthday, from complications relating to lung cancer. Kamil, who joined the industry more than 40 years ago, was most recently executive vice president and publisher of Random House and imprints such as Dial Press and One World.
“Susan was one of the great editors, and working with her has been the best experience of my writing life,” Rushdie said in a statement. “Her clarity and sharpness were invaluable to me and I trusted her instincts always. She was also one of the loveliest human beings I have known, and I grew to love her very much. It’s a devastating loss for so many of us.”
Her death was widely mourned on social media. Lena Dunham, whose best-selling “Not That Kind of Girl” was published by Kamin, called her an “inimitable force” who gave “the best notes & best hugs.” Laura Zigman, Elizabeth McCracken and other authors also tweeted tributes. Some of the fall’s most prominent books were completed under Kamil’s leadership, among them Rushdie’s Booker Prize-nominated novel “Quichotte”; Coates’ debut novel, “The Water Dancer”; Prince’s posthumous memoir, “The Beautiful Ones”; and Strout’s “Olive, Again.”
Kamil’s many editing credits included “Quichotte,” Kinsella’s “Shopaholic” novels, Strout’s “My Name is Lucy Barton” and Allegra Goodman’s “Kaaterskill Falls,” a finalist for the National Book Award in 1998.