Murió Pat Kavanagh
Y mientras el "chacal" Wyllie va extendiendo su poder y ganándose más enemigos a diestra y siniestra, el mundo literario anglosajón llora la muerte de una de las agentes más conocidas de Gran Bretaña: Pat Kavanagh, esposa del escritor Julian Barnes, quien falleció a los 68 años. Recientemente, ella estuvo a principios de año en Argentina con su esposo en book tour. Dice sobre ella The Guardian:
Pat Kavanagh, the UK's best-known literary agent, who represented a string of leading writers for decades, died today at the age of 68. Kavanagh, married to the novelist Julian Barnes, had scaled the heights of her profession, representing writers including Ruth Rendell, Margaret Drabble, Robert Harris, Joanna Trollope, Andrew Motion, Clive James and Wendy Cope. She died this morning of a brain tumour, a spokesman for the company she co-founded, United Agents, said. Harris, a client for 27 years, said everyone who knew Kavanagh was reeling from the loss. "She was fantastically efficient and just the person you wanted to have represent you," he said. There was no one quite like her, really. And she was exotic, like a bird of paradise. She was unflappable, and she didn't let you get above yourself. "She always described herself as being like a family doctor or a country solicitor. She didn't believe in trying to screw an enormous amount of money out of publishers. "Pat was always quite indiscreet and very funny. And you know, in a world full of bullshit, there was no bullshit from Pat. She didn't suck up to her writers."
La vida de Pat Kavanagh, como la de todo agente literario (o mejor dicho, la de cualquiera que se mete al mundo de las letras como una profesión) no estuvo ausente de peleas. Una de las más dolorosas y recordadas es la que mantuvo con Martín Amis, que separó a dos grandes amigos (Julian Barnes y Amis), originó parte del libro de memorias Experiencia de Amis, además de diversos artículos de periódicos. ¿Por qué fue la disputa? Algo que ver con la mala dentadura de Amis -no es broma- y la voracidad de Andrew Wyllie según creo recordar. La nota en The Guardian también recuerda el suceso.
Kavanagh was also, for 23 years, the agent of Martin Amis, until he switched to Andrew Wylie, an agent who has been called the Jackal, in 1995. Kavanagh's husband, Barnes, ended his friendship with Amis shortly afterwards. The writer Hermione Lee said: "Pat Kavanagh was my friend and agent, and to say the word 'was' in speaking of her is very hard for me to do." Lee said she loved and admired Kavanagh for her truthfulness and dignity and "her refusal ever to be false or gushing. She was a distinguished human being, and the world is a lesser place without her." The short story writer Helen Simpson, who was among many visitors to Kavanagh's home today, said she was still in a state of shock. "It has been so very quick. It's been like a fast car crash in slow motion," she said. "Pat never said anything she didn't mean. She couldn't." A statement from United Agents said: "Pat Kavanagh was an exceptional agent and great friend. We all owe her a tremendous amount; she was an extraordinary presence, who was much loved and will be greatly missed by her colleagues and clients. All our thoughts today are with Julian."