About Pat Holt

Holt Uncensored
Holt Uncensored

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Pat Holt began her publishing career in the New York office of Houghton Mifflin Company in 1969 and was later promoted to the Boston office, where she was named publicity manager. In the mid-1970s she was senior editor and publicity director for the San Francisco Book Company, and in 1978 she became Publishers Weekly's first full-time Western Correspondent, where her territory ranged from the Rockies to Australia and Mexico to Alaska.

She was book editor and critic at The San Francisco Chronicle for 16 years (1982-1998) and was named a board member of The Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in 1984. Her proposal that 1987 be declared "The Year of the Reader" was adopted by the Library of Congress, approved by Congress and signed by the President as Public Law 90-494 in 1986. Her second proposal, that 1989 be declared "The Year of the Young Reader," was similarly adopted

by the Library of Congress, passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in 1988. From 1986 through 1989 she formed and raised funds for the San Francisco office of The Year of the Reader, headed by full-time project director Patricia Abe, formerly of Harvard University Press.

Increasingly concerned about the plight of independent bookstores in their struggle to survive wave after wave of chain bookstores, price clubs, discounters and Internet suppliers, Pat Holt resigned from The Chronicle in 1998 to create "Holt Uncensored," an email book column launched by the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association. Now published from the Holt Uncensored website, the column is available free for online subscribers. To receive the column via email as well, just send an email to:


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Ms. Holt is a founder of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association, where she originated the idea for an annual BABRA Awards presentation to Northern California authors and publishers (now in its 15th year). In 1990 she became the first nonlibrarian in 40 years to receive the American Library Association's prestigious Grolier Foundation Award. Elected to the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle in 1991, she became Vice President in charge of membership in 1992-96.

Patricia Holt is the author of a biography of San Francisco private detective Hal Lipset called "The Bug in the Martini Olive," published in 1991 by Little, Brown and reprinted in 1994 as "The Good Detective" by Pocket Books.