Tracy Walker Howell, literary agent
and Director of Foreign Rights for The Gernert Company, died February
8 after a sudden and brief illness . She was 42 years old.
Tracy began her publishing career in 1985 at Viking Penguin. She then became a literary scout at Maria B. Campbell Associates and went on to work as foreign rights director at Warner Books and Random House before joining The Gernert Company, where she managed the world publishing rights of John Grisham among others. She had recently begun taking on her own clients. One of her first authors was José Latour, a Cuban mystery writer, whose work she sold to Grove/Atlantic. Tracy, who was fluent in Italian, was a distinguished presence in international publishing known for her grace, professionalism, and integrity, characteristics that made her universally admired by those who worked with her. "To know Tracy was to love her. Everyone who worked with her thought of her as a friend. She brought the very qualities that made her such a special person - her kindness, intelligence, efficiency and elegance - to her professional life, which is why she is so universally loved in the world of international publishing," said David Gernert. Maria Campbell concurred: "The publishing community has lost one of its best and brightest ambassadors: a remarkable woman who built bridges for American writers with her passion, intelligence and heart."
Born in Providence Rhode Island in 1963, she grew up in Brunswick, Maine where her father, the late Roger Howell, a history professor worked as President of Bowdoin College. She graduated in 1981 from the Ethel Walker School in Connecticut and then in 1985 from Middlebury College in Vermont where she majored in English literature, her life long pursuit along with her passion for Italy. She lived in Verona for two years and later married, on Chebeague Island in Maine, an Italian doctor, Michele Tagliati, currently Associate Professor of Neurology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Together they had two children: Isabella, eight years old and Luca, four years old.
Tracy was a horseback rider, a New York marathon runner, a sailor, a great cook, a passionate reader. Her capacity for friendship and love were enormous. She made friends everywhere. Above all, she was a generous daughter, sister, mother and wife. She provided a world of love, joy and unfailing human kindness.
Along with her husband and children she is survived by her
mother Marcia Howell of Portland, Maine, her brother Christopher
Howell and his wife Amanda of Berkeley, California.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the
PELHAM ART CENTER
155 5th Ave