Sunday, May 9, 2010

Nina King: R.I.P.

Nina King, Editor of The Washington Post's Book World section for more than a decade and often reviewed fiction and wrote about her far-flung travels, died May 6 at the Washington House, a nursing facility in Alexandria. A cousin, Nancy Dupree, said she died of complications from Parkinson's disease one day before her 69th birthday.

King was the Book World editor from 1988-1993. King introduced several features to the weekly review, including columns on poetry, the publishing industry and dispatches from other cities.

She was the co-author, with Robin Winks,  of the 1997 book Crimes of the Scene: A Mystery Novel Guide for the International Traveler, an Agatha Award nominee. She was a member of IACW and travelled to many of the international crime meetings including Cuba. I met her at Semana Negra in Spain, an AIEP meeting.

According to the Washington Post obituary, King helped solidify the reputation of D.C. crime novelist George Pelecanos, writing in 2001 that "the hard-boiled mystery writer that Washington lacked seems to have emerged from the shadows."
In 1995, she underwent experimental brain surgery for Parkinson's disease in Sweden. Her symptoms returned after a year, and in 1999, she stepped down as Book World editor to become a contributing editor.

She wrote in 1998, "I hope the reader will intuit that I indeed do have a life -- one in which Parkinson's is allowed only a secondary role. I politely request that I not be defined by my disease -- except in the metaphorical sense of the poet Alexander Pope when he wrote of 'this long disease my life.' "

Read the Washington Post Obit, HERE.

Nina King: R.I.P.


Mason Canyon said...

Sad news, but sounds like she was a terrific lady.

Thoughts in Progress said...

Nina King was my favorite writer at BookWorld, among many favorites at that wonderful publication in its heyday. So I am too saddened to find that she is no longer with us