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Literature

National Public Radio Books Editor Petra Mayer Dies at 46

November 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Petra Mayer, books editor for National Public Radio, died Saturday of what’s believed to be a pulmonary embolism, the news organization said. She was 46.

Mayer is remembered for her reporting at Comic-Con and helping put together NPR’s Book Concierge, an annual interactive guide that filters titles based on interest to recommend to readers. She was an occasional guest on “Pop Culture Happy Hour” podcast episodes, and her colleagues said she was a proud nerd who loved science fiction and comics.

NPR’s senior vice president for news, Nancy Barnes, said in an email to staff that she died suddenly at Holy Cross Hospital in Maryland.

“Petra was NPR through and through,” Barnes wrote.

Mayer joined NPR Books team in 2012 after working as an associate producer and director for “All Things Considered” on the weekends, handling the show’s books coverage.

Her biography on NPR’s website said she first joined as an engineering assistant in 1994 while attending Amherst College, but left a few years later for a news writing job at Boston’s WBUR and for a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. She returned to NPR in 2000.

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