Obituary Note: Elaine Markson

Literary agent Elaine Markson died May 21 at age 87. Author Alice Hoffman paid tribute to her on Lit Hub, noting: "Everyone knows that if Elaine Markson was your agent, you had a fierce and loving protector for life. I was Elaine's second client, back when she was working out of her apartment where the windows faced Washington Square Park and her eleven-year-old son watched TV as we talked about books. I fell in love the first time I met her and she remained my agent and great friend for 40 years.

"She was pure Greenwich Village with clients like Andrea Dworkin, Abbie Hoffman (I was often billed for advances Elaine loaned him as we were both A. Hoffmans), the great Grace Paley, and the iconic feminist writer Tillie Olsen. Elaine was the one agent in America who didn't care about making deals. She was there for the authors, and I know that she was always there for me.... Everyone who worked for Elaine loved her. Many became agents and editors; she was a great connector, whether you needed a job or an apartment or just a shoulder to cry on. She was generous and kind, but she always let you know when you had more work to do on a book. Writers listened to her. And more, we trusted her. The book business changed, it became about deals and bestseller lists, but Elaine never changed. Till the very end she was in it for the books. We loved her madly and we'll miss her forever."

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