Stephanie Wolfe Murray – who founded Canongate in 1973 with her husband Angus and Charles Wild, and ran it until 1994 – died on Saturday night, 24 June 2017. Among her many achievements, she was the original publisher of Alasdair Gray’s masterpiece Lanark. For that reason and many others, readers everywhere owe her a debt of gratitude, though of course nothing like the gratitude felt by those of us who work at the publishing house she established, and which she ran for over twenty years.
Stephanie died peacefully surrounded by family and close friends.
“Stephanie was a beautiful, charismatic and kind woman who was utterly selfless in her support of others. She was an inspirational figure in my life, as she was for countless others, and not just because of what she taught me about publishing. But in that respect she was my first mentor, taking me under her gentle wings and teaching and encouraging me from the moment we met in November 1992. Canongate would not be doing what it is doing today if it wasn’t for her.”
Stephanie Wolfe Murray portrait by Alasdair Gray, 1997, from A Life in Pictures.