(New York, NY) – PEN America today mourns the death of Carolyn Reidy, CEO of Simon & Schuster and an awardee of PEN America. The following is attributable to PEN America president and Simon & Schuster author Jennifer Egan:

“PEN America joins the entire literary community in mourning the incalculable loss of Carolyn Reidy, a primal force in publishing and a longtime supporter of our organization—both in her capacity as Simon & Schuster CEO and personally—as well as a revered and beloved champion of writers. Carolyn was a literary giant, a leader who artfully navigated the upheavals of publishing to amplify a wide range of voices reflective of our lived world. Curious, kind, and ever approachable, she was that rare publisher who would send a handwritten letter to a writer, praising her most recent book. Carolyn believed in every story she touched, and ushered our works into the wider world with passion, care, and decades of expertise.  

“Carolyn was also a champion of free expression who embraced her role as a publisher in encouraging and protecting it. In a speech she gave to PEN America two years ago, she said, ‘In our country, too many voices are marginalized, or powerless, and through our choices of what to publish we have the ability and the obligation to help change that.’ By embodying those principles, Carolyn expanded the literary universe of countless writers and enriched American culture. While her loss is enormous, equally so is the shining example of her legacy.”

PEN America honored Reidy in 2018 at its annual literary gala as the PEN America Publisher Honoree. Watch a video of her remarks and read a transcript here.