Virago Founder and Author Carmen Callil Dies at 84: Cause of Death Explained Here

Renowned author and the founder of Virago Press Carmen Callil passed away yesterday. Read on to learn how did Carmen Callill die, what happened to her, and what was the cause of her death.

She was a pioneering woman born in Australia who shifted to the UK. She started as a campaigning outsider and went on to revolutionize English literature. Callil introduced readers in the United Kingdom to authors like Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood.

Who was Carmen Callil?

Born Dame Carmen Thérèse Callil on July 15, 1938, in Melbourne, Australia, Carmen Callil was a renowned publisher, writer, critic, and the founder of Virago Press. She was educated at Star of the Sea Convent and at Loreto Mandeville Hall before graduating from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Literature in 1960.

Just after her graduation, Callill moved to London and lived a British life. In 1964, she started working for Marks & Spencer as a buying assistant and then started working at Hutchinson the next year. She also worked as a publicity manager for Panther Books between 1967 and 1970.

In 1973, Callill founded the Virago Press. She was appointed the managing director of Chatto & Windus and The Hogarth Press. She remained there till 1994 while still continuing as the chairman of Virago. She left book publishing in the same year.

Calil continued to remain at various prestigious positions throughout her prolific career including a member of the committee for Booker Prize and won numerous awards and medals.

How did Carmen Callil die?

Carmen Callil died on the night of Monday, October 17, 2022, at her home in London. She was 84 years old at the time of her death. Callill passed away after suffering from Leukemia for a long time.

The unfortunate news of Carmen Callil’s death was announced by her agency RCW. The agency called her “an incomparable and fiercely loyal friend who touched the hearts and lives of so many,” as tributes ensued from across the globe.

Carmen Callil dead at 84: What was her cause of death?

The venerated woman of press Carmen Callil died this past Monday at the age of 84 due to Leukemia. She passed away at her home in London, surrounded by the members of her family.

Callil had been struggling with the disease for an unannounced period of time. It’s unknown when Leukemia was diagnosed. However, her condition had been worsening over the course of time, and her old age made the situation worst.

For context, Leukemia is cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. There are different types of Leukemia, and it’s unknown which specific type was Callil suffering from.

Carmen Callil Obituary: Tributes and Funeral Arrangement

Tributes have emerged for Carmen Callil who was a “pioneering champion of female writers.” Her work has been praised by countless people and she has inspired several generations of budding writers.

Bea Hemming, deputy publishing director of Jonathan Cape, was among the firsts to lead tributes.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of our author Carmen Callil. All of us in publishing, and all of us who love books, owe a debt to her publishing genius, and we are immensely proud at Cape to count her as one of our authors,” she wrote.

“She was a trailblazer, an inspiration, a lifeforce, a brilliantly determined researcher and writer, and a loyal friend. We will miss her enormously.”

The funeral arrangements for Carmen Callil are pending at this time. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her loved ones. May God let her soul rest easy.

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