Washington Publishers

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In Memory of Mark Saunders

Washington Publishers is saddened to hear of the passing of Mark Saunders, Directory of the University of Virginia Press. We send our condolences to Mark’s family, friends, and colleagues.

From Shelf Awareness: Mark Saunders, director of the University of Virginia Press, died this past weekend of a heart attack. He was 52.

“A book lover and salesman from the start,” the Press said, Saunders began his book career at Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C., where he bought small press and university frontlist and backlist and arranged reading series and author events. He then became East Coast sales rep and eventually national sales manager at Columbia University Press. In 1995, he joined the marketing department at UVA Press, then became director of marketing and sales. He was named director in 2013.

Among his many achievements at the Press, it said, was “his central role in establishing its Rotunda electronic imprint, which put the Press at the forefront of innovation in digital scholarship.” He was also involved in the Association of University Presses and wrote the novel Ministers of Fire, published by Ohio University Press’s Swallow Press imprint in 2012.

The Press added: “Mark was a true renaissance man, and outside of work his passions included not only writing but traveling, carpentry, the outdoors, boating at his house in Maine, reading, the arts, politics, taking time in his garden, playing with his dogs and looking after his cats and tortoise, and all things sports, including coaching his three children who meant the world to him. At UVa Press, we will remember him as a man of great intelligence and wit, always ready to make us laugh while leading us to the right decision. Most importantly, he was a devoted family man and a great friend.”

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