Ruth Cavin (October 15, 1918 – January 9, 2011) was an American book editor who worked as an associate publisher of Thomas Dunne Books, where she started working at age 70 and oversaw the publication of 900 books. Mystery fiction was her specialty in her two decades in the business.
Cavin was born Ruth Brodie in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Jewish immigrants who taught her how to read as a young child.She attended Carnegie Institute of Technology, earning her undergraduate degree there in 1939 and married Bram Cavin, a journalist with BusinessWeek whom she met after moving to New York City. She lived the life of a typical suburban housewife, raising her twin daughters in suburban Westchester County, New York, and didn't begin her publishing career until 1979, when she started editing books for Walker & Company.
Hired by St. Martin's Press to work at its Thomas Dunne Books unit when she was already in her 70s, Cavin helped develop first novels by such mystery fiction authors as Donna Andrews, Steve Hamilton, Julia Spencer-Fleming and Laurie R. King.The Malice Domestic Contest, a yearly competition honoring best first mystery novels, was begun by St. Martin's Press based on Cavin's suggestion. Earning the nickname "First Lady of Mysteries" that adorned a plaque in her office, author Sue Grafton called Cavin "soul mother to mystery writers for years". She helped edit and publish 900 books in a broad range of genres during her tenure there, continuing to work as an editor until 2010 when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Cavin wrote a number of her own books, including Trolleys and Complete Party Dinners for the Novice Cook, a book that she had originally conceived of as Dinners for Beginners.
Cavin died at the age of 92 at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York on January 9, 2011, due to lung cancer. She was survived by her twin daughters, a son and two grandchildren. Her husband had died in 2009.
Mildred Augustine Wirt Benson was an American journalist and author of children's books. She wrote some of the earliest Nancy Drew mysteries and created the detective's adventurous personality. Benson wrote under the Stratemeyer Syndicate pen name, Carolyn Keene, from 1929 to 1947 and contributed to 23 of the first 30 Nancy Drew mysteries, which were bestsellers.
Joan Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1993 until her death in September 2020. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton, replacing retiring justice Byron White, and at the time was generally viewed as a moderate consensus-builder. She eventually became part of the liberal wing of the Court as the Court shifted to the right over time. Ginsburg was the first Jewish woman and the second woman to serve on the Court, after Sandra Day O'Connor. During her tenure, Ginsburg wrote notable majority opinions, including United States v. Virginia (1996), Olmstead v. L.C. (1999), Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc. (2000), and City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York (2005).
Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, was an English author of thrillers and psychological murder mysteries.
Joan Didion is an American writer who launched her career in the 1960s after winning an essay contest sponsored by Vogue magazine. Didion's writing during the 1960s through the late 1970s engaged audiences in the realities of the counterculture of the 1960s and the Hollywood lifestyle. Her political writing often concentrated on the subtext of political and social rhetoric. In 1991, she wrote the earliest mainstream media article to suggest the Central Park Five had been wrongfully convicted. In 2005, she won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography for The Year of Magical Thinking. She later adapted the book into a play, which premiered on Broadway in 2007. In 2017, Didion was profiled in the Netflix documentary The Center Will Not Hold, directed by her nephew Griffin Dunne.
Susan Eloise Hinton is an American writer best known for her young-adult novels (YA) set in Oklahoma, especially The Outsiders (1967), which she wrote during high school. Hinton is credited with introducing the YA genre.
Alison Stewart Lurie was an American novelist and academic. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her 1984 novel Foreign Affairs. Although better known as a novelist, she wrote many non-fiction books and articles, particularly on children's literature and the semiotics of dress.
The American Booksellers Association (ABA) is a non-profit trade association founded in 1900 that promotes independent bookstores in the United States. ABA's core members are key participants in their communities' local economy and culture, and to assist them ABA creates relevant programs; provides education, information, business products, and services; and engages in public policy and industry advocacy. The Association actively supports and defends free speech and the First Amendment rights of all Americans through the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. A volunteer board of 10 booksellers governs the Association. ABA is headquartered in White Plains, New York.
Bessie Lillian Gordy Carter was the mother of the thirty-ninth president of the United States Jimmy Carter. She was also known for her contributions to nursing in her home state of Georgia and as a Peace Corps volunteer in India as well as writing two books during the Carter presidency.
Paula Fox was an American author of novels for adults and children and of two memoirs. For her contributions as a children's writer she won the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1978, the highest international recognition for a creator of children's books. She also won several awards for particular children's books including the 1974 Newbery Medal for her novel The Slave Dancer; a 1983 National Book Award in category Children's Fiction (paperback) for A Place Apart; and the 2008 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis for A Portrait of Ivan (1969) in its German-language edition Ein Bild von Ivan.
The following is a list of notable deaths in February 2006.
Suzanne Collins is an American television writer and author. She is known as the author of The New York Times best-selling series The Underland Chronicles and The Hunger Games.
Sada Carolyn Thompson was an American stage, film, and television actress.
Charles Bock is an American writer whose debut 2008 novel Beautiful Children was selected by The New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year for 2008, and won the 2009 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Robert Duane Loomis was an American book editor who worked at Random House from 1957 until his retirement in 2011. He has been called "one of publishing's hall of fame editors."
Donna Andrews is an American mystery fiction writer of two award-winning amateur sleuth series. Her first book, Murder with Peacocks (1999), introduced Meg Langslow, a blacksmith from Yorktown, Virginia. It won the St. Martin's Minotaur Best First Traditional Mystery contest, the Agatha, Anthony, Barry, and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice awards for best first novel, and the Lefty award for funniest mystery of 1999. The first novel in the Turing Hopper series debuted a highly unusual sleuth—an Artificial Intelligence (AI) personality who becomes sentient—and won the Agatha Award for best mystery that year.
Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down, by author Kaylene Johnson, is a biography of Sarah Palin. Written before Palin was nominated for the Vice President of the United States, it describes her upbringing and her quick rise to power as Governor of Alaska.
Danya Ruttenberg is an American rabbi, editor, and author. Her family attended a Reform synagogue in Chicago, and she described herself as having been atheist around that time. Ruttenberg later became a part of the Conservative movement within Judaism. She was named one of The Jewish Week's "36 Under 36" in 2010, and the same year was named one of the top 50 most influential women rabbis by The Jewish Daily Forward. When she was in college her mother died of breast cancer, and Ruttenberg reconsidered religion, practiced Jewish mourning rituals, which she said allowed her to "make friends with Judaism, to be open to it"; in 2008 she published a memoir of her spiritual awakening titled "Surprised by God: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Religion". This memoir was a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. She was ordained in 2008 by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles.
Hitch-22: A Memoir is a memoir written by author and journalist Christopher Hitchens.
Joan Kahn was a New York City-based American author, anthologist, and editor, widely regarded as the preeminent mystery/suspense editor of her time. Described variously as the "doyenne of suspense," "the doyenne of mystery editors," and "publishing's grande dame of detective stories," Kahn first came to prominence during her extended reign (1946-1980) at Harper & Brothers, much of it spent creating and overseeing the longstanding "Harper Novel of Suspense" series. The Joan Kahn imprint, instituted during her Harper tenure, soon became a sought-after imprimatur for mystery connoisseurs. Some of Kahn's more celebrated signings include John Creasey, Patricia Highsmith, Julian Symons, Dick Francis, and Tony Hillerman.
Robert Kolker is an American journalist, formerly a contributing editor at New York Magazine, a former projects and investigations reporter for Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek, and the author of Lost Girls, a book that was a New York Times best-seller and named one of Publishers Weekly's Top Ten Books of 2013. In 2020, his book Hidden Valley Road was published, and was selected for the revival of Oprah's Book Club.