Obituary Note: Stephanie Wolfe Murray

Stephanie Wolfe Murray, a co-founder of Canongate who "completely transformed" Scotland's publishing industry, died June 24 in the Scottish Borders, the Scotsman reported. She was 76. While at Canongate, Wolfe Murray published Alasdair Gray's debut novel, Lanark: A Life in Four Books, and Jimmy Boyle's autobiography, A Sense of Freedom, written while the author was still in prison. She was also instrumental in the founding of the Scottish Publishers Association and was on the founding board of the Edinburgh Book Festival.

Wolfe Murray, the daughter of a Liverpool solicitor, had no formal training in publishing when she and her husband, Scottish journalist Angus Wolfe Murray, joined the industry in 1973. Canongate began with the publication of a collection of Edgar Allan Poe short stories and a novel written by Bob Shure, a friend of Wolfe Murray and her husband who had been having trouble getting his book published. The couple worked in an office on Edinburgh's High Street and named the company after Edinburgh's Canongate area.

After separating from her husband, Wolfe Murray took charge of running the company on her own. In addition to Lanark and A Sense of Freedom, she published Charles Palliser's novel The Quincunx, along with the work of lesser known writers and poets, and according to the Scotsman she was most proud of "reviving old, and often forgotten, Scottish works as Canongate classics" and "developing the Kelpies series of Scottish children's books."

Following her retirement from Canongate in 1994, she turned her attention to charity work; around 2000, she spent two years in Kosovo rebuilding homes and giving humanitarian aid. She is survived by husband, with whom she reunited some 30 after their separation, and their four sons.

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