Drenka Willen awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

<p>Drenka Willen, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt editor, is to be awarded the sixth annual London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing. <br /><br />The LBF&rsquo;s advisory board unanimously agreed on Willen as the winner; Simon Master, chair, said: &ldquo;Drenka Willen has for 40 years inspired respect and admiration amongst her peers across the globe, from authors to agents to publishers. Her dedication to discovering and championing foreign authors, including four Nobel Prize winners [Gunter Grass, Jose Saramago, Wislawa Szymborska&nbsp; and Octavio Paz], which must be something of a record, marks her out as a worthy recipient.&rdquo;<br /><br />Willan joined HMH in 1961, taking over the day-to-day running of the Helen &amp; Kurt imprint in 1981, where she continues to publish authors such as Amos Oz and Georges Simenon. She also published Umberto Eco&rsquo;s <em>The Name of the Rose</em> and Jose Saramago&rsquo;s <em>Blindness</em>, with a 50th anniversary issue of Grass&#39; The Tin Drum due in the autumn.&nbsp; <br /><br />Late last year, Willen&rsquo;s position was among the redundancies made at HMH, although she was later asked by c.e.o. Tony Lucki to return, according to the <em><a href="http://www.observer.com/mobile/article/80912" target="_blank">New York Observer</a>.</em> <br /><br />The Award recognises an individual who has made a &ldquo;truly significant mark in the sphere of global publishing&rdquo;. Previous winners include Lord Weidenfeld, Lynette Owen of Pearson Education, and last year&rsquo;s winner, Peter Mayer of Overlook Press/ Duckworth Publishers. The presentation will take place on 21st April.<br /></p>