Tom Kremer, founder of Notting Hill Editions and the Essay Prize, has died aged 87.
The publisher said he died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday (24th June).
Kremer, born in Transylvania, founded Notting Hill Editions at the age of 80 to revive the lost art of the essay. His passion for the form, an essayist himself, author to The Missing Heart of Europe (June Press), has led to publication of more than 50 titles.
After surviving the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen and fighting in Israel’s war of independence, Kremer went on to become a professional inventor and to license and popularise the iconic Rubik’s Cube.
An interview with Kremer appeared in The Bookseller just two weeks ago.
In it the concentration camp survivor who fought in Israel’s war of independence, said he had “seen death by a few millimetres a few times”, but it was the essay that “saved [his] life”.
“I discovered the profoundly meaningful idea of the essay in myself first,” he said. “When I was 60, I had a crisis [of mental health]... One morning, I woke up, I went to the typewriter and I started writing. And, I became very quickly aware that, apart from mending myself, I was actually a born essayist. And so it became very close to me. That idea was the beginning of this company.”
A spokesperson for Notting Hill Editions said: "His energy, charisma, and determination to succeed inspired all of us at Notting Hill Editions, and he will be sorely missed."