What is more random than a traffic accident?
What is less random than the taste, dexterity and care that Helen brought to the reading of proposals, drafts, manuscripts, reports and editorial memos?
I trusted her more than almost anyone else (which doesn’t mean we never disagreed). We worked on many overlapping projects, almost continuously, for twenty-four years. She was my friend and I worried about her.
She was ferocious in the defense of things she thought precious and endangered– for example, first books by academic authors. She could be tough. She could be brittle. She worked herself ragged. Something was always new and exciting. She traipsed from conference to conference, drinking endless cups of bad coffee, knitting while she listened to an infinity of tedious papers, in pursuit of the beautiful book somebody had in them without knowing it.
Nobody can replace her. Who can carry on her work?