Joan Bingham, longtime executive editor of Grove Atlantic and a key figure in the merger that created the house, died October 31. She was 85.

Bingham joined Grove Atlantic as executive editor in 1993 after helping to arrange the merger of Grove Weidenfeld and Atlantic Monthly Press which created Grove Atlantic. She served on the Grove Atlantic board for the last 27 years in addition to acquiring, editing and publishing more than 100 books.

Among her authors are Kiran Desai (The Inheritance of Loss, winner of the 2007 Booker Prize), David Von Drehle (Triangle: The Fire That Changed America), and, Elizabeth Mitchell (Liberty’s Torch) among many others. In addition, Bingham oversaw the Grove Poetry series, including publishing works by poets Kay Ryan (Best of It, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry), Claudia Rankine, Jesse Ball and Sarah Lindsay (Primate Behavior, finalist for the National Book Award).

Grove Atlantic publisher Morgan Entrekin described Bingham as, “a beloved colleague, dear friend, and stalwart partner. Grove Atlantic would not exist without her original commitment and her continued support over almost three decades. We offer our condolences to her family and our gratitude for everything Joan contributed to Grove. Joan may be gone but Grove will carry on as an independent literary publisher as I know she wanted.”