1927 - 2016
Britain’s longest-serving publisher has died at the age of 89. Peter Owen, who has headed the company that bears his name since 1951, passed away on May 31.
Born Peter Offenstadt, Owen emigrated to the UK from Bavaria in 1933. He founded Peter Owen Publishers, with just a typewriter for equipment, and went on to head a firm the Guardian called “A byword for literary adventure and experimentation.”
Owen’s first editor was Murial Spark, who’s memories of working for him informed her novel A Far Cry From Kensington. His authors include seven Nobel Prize winners, the artist Salvador Dali, singer Yoko Ono and... Douglas McPherson who’s Circus Mania is published by the firm.
According to his obituary in the Daily Telegraph, Owen was a "a champion of the obscure, the neglected, the modern, the foreign, the difficult and the downright unpopular ." No wonder he published a circus book!
Owen was awarded the OBE for services to literature in 2014. His daughter Antonia Owen takes his place as Publisher at the company which is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year.
Managing director Nick Kent said, “Many will say that 89 was a good innings, but it is a deep shock nonetheless, Peter is irreplaceable.”
|Circus ManiaPeter OwenPublishers|