The UK publishing industry still cannot quite believe that Peter Bowron, the popular MD of the Random House Group, is no longer there. He suffered a heart attack in January and leaves behind three young children and his wife, the publisher Clare Ledingham. He was only 40.
Now, Lizzie Noble - the author, Elizabeth Noble (The Reading Group, The Girl Next Door), whose husband is Hachette US CEO David Young - is putting together a book of stories about Peter to give to his children. It's a lovely idea. Here is her letter about the project, which contains contact details should you wish to contribute.
Dear Friends of Pete and Clare
We were all incredibly sad to lose Pete in January. One of the greatest sadnesses for me, and, I know, for many of you, is that Anna, John and Sally can only know and remember and understand what a fantastic man their dad was through what all of us tell them; their own memories will be all too brief, sketchy and incomplete. To that end, and with Clare’s blessing, I need your help.
I am putting together a collection of stories about Pete, which will eventually be bound together in printed books for each of Pete’s family to keep. I’m not looking for condolences or for tributes – I’m hoping for great, colourful Pete stories that will, together, create a picture of who he was, at every stage and in every arena of his life. Funny stories, naughty schoolboy stories, work stories, sweet stories…whatever comes to you when you think of him.
If there are songs that especially remind you of him, send those too (we’ll burn a disk to go with the book). And if you have pictures, send a copy.
I’d like this to be as complete as possible, so if this has reached you, and you can think of other people who may like to contribute, but who we might not have reached, please do circulate and forward this as you wish. The more stories we get, the better – the more Anna and John and Sally will have to read as they grow older.
Please send your stories to me at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s difficult to put a deadline on this, I know, but if you could try and get your contributions to me by May 31st, then I can get a book into production for the summer.
Thank you so much for helping me put together something that I hope will give Pete’s children something amazingly precious and special in the years to come.