Patricia Holt, Publishers Weekly's first full-time western correspondent and one of publishing's most vocal advocates and pundits, died of cancer December 3. She was 78.
Holt began her publishing career in the New York and Boston offices of Houghton Mifflin in 1969. In the mid-1970s, she relocated to New York to launch a co-publishing venture called San Francisco Book Company, where she worked as senior editor and publicity director.
In 1978 she became Publishers Weekly‘s first full-time western correspondent, reporting on publishing news from the Rockies to Australia and Mexico to Alaska.
Holt moved from PW to the San Francisco Chronicle in 1982 where she was the paper's book editor and critic for 17 years. During that time, she co-founded the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association. She was the first non-librarian in 40 years to receive the American Library Association’s prestigious Grolier Foundation Award. She was also elected to the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle, where she served as the organization's vice president during a six-year term, and was a board member of The Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.
She was the author of 1991 book The Bug in the Martini Olive (Little, Brown), later reprinted as The Good Detective (Pocket Books).
In 1998, she founded the website Holt Uncensored, in which she shared her many insights into the publishing industry and its ongoing evolution.