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Ball departs PRH

Penguin Random House Australia (PRH) announced yesterday that PRH Literary publishing director Ben Ball has departed the company, as of Tuesday, 15 May.

PRH said in a statement, ‘A review of our structure has … shown that we no longer require the role of publishing director—PRH Literary. In consequence, Ben Ball will be leaving the business today.’

With the departure of Ball and the elimination of his role, the PRH Literary team—comprising Vintage/Knopf publisher Meredith Curnow, senior literary editor Meredith Rose, commissioning editor Cate Blake and commissioning editor Lex Hirst—will report to group publishing director Nikki Christer.

Ball joined Penguin Australia in 2006, and has been responsible for discovering and developing a number of successful Australian literary authors. ‘His vision and passion have resulted in the publication of many award-winning titles, some of which will be seen as Australian classics,’ said PRH in a statement. ‘We thank Ben for all he has accomplished for Penguin Random House Australia and wish him every future success’.

Author Tim Winton, who has worked with Ball since the 2008 publication of Breath, said that he was ‘deeply wounded by this decision and bewildered by its timing’. In a statement made today, Winton said: ‘A publisher of Ben’s stature is so rare in Australia and his departure diminishes the company, the trade and the culture. This is a bad day and a time to take stock. My heart goes out to Ben and his young family’.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, the PRH Literary division was established in May 2017 to bring together the company’s literary imprints Hamish Hamilton, Vintage, Knopf, Viking and Penguin.

Ball has been contacted for comment, but did not respond before publication.

 

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Category: Local news