In our lives, there are only a few times, I think, that we meet someone who really makes a difference. For me, Abner Stein was one of those people.
Abner was our British agent. He represented those of our books for which we had retained the British rights from the U.S. publisher. And he was a superb agent.
But more than that, Abner was a superb human being. When I was just starting out on my own – leaving my former employer in 1994 to begin what is now Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, Abner was incredibly supportive, encouraging me to spread my wings and build my business. Over these many years, his support continued as our friendship grew.
As one of his colleagues wrote recently in a remembrance in Book Brunch, “For Abner, publishing was a personal business. The consummate professional, he believed in the importance of personal connections.” And that, I have found over these many years as an agent to be so true.
It is because of Abner and a couple of others like him that I have grown and succeeded as far as I have in my business. And I hope they knew (and know) how grateful I am to them.
Abner Stein died on January 12th. I will miss him very much but I will never forget his kind generosity and wonderful support.