Celebrating Petra Mayer's legacy and the joy she brought to NPR : Pop Culture Happy Hour There's no good way to share terrible news. Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist and NPR Books editor Petra Mayer died suddenly on Saturday of what is believed to be a pulmonary embolism. We take some time to remember our friend and colleague, and revisit some of our favorite episodes featuring Petra.

Celebrating Petra Mayer's legacy and the joy she brought to NPR

Celebrating Petra Mayer's legacy and the joy she brought to NPR

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Allison Shelley/NPR
Petra Mayer at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 21, 2019.
Allison Shelley/NPR

There's no good way to share terrible news. This episode is a tribute to our friend and colleague Petra Mayer, who died suddenly on November 13 of what's believed to have been a pulmonary embolism. Petra was a treasured member of NPR's Culture desk, a funny and lovely person, and a great advocate for books both literary and not, including the romance and speculative fiction titles she passionately promoted for coverage at NPR. She was indispensable in developing some of the projects that have been so critical to the growth of NPR Books, especially the Book Concierge and the yearly summer books poll. She also made many appearances on Pop Culture Happy Hour. Glen Weldon, Stephen Thompson and I, who all worked with Petra for many years, gathered with NPR's Barrie Hardymon, one of Petra's fellow book editors, to remember our friend and listen back to some of her smart, sharp thoughts.

All things books

Book Concierge: 2020

It's National Novel Writing Month. Here's how to finally write that book

On the Books: An All-Book Edition Of Pop Culture Happy Hour

Fans Are Like Friends To 'Reigning Queen' Of Women's Fiction

'The Ravenmaster' Is Definitely (There) For The Birds

After 'Fifty Shades,' Could This Be The Next Big Online Hit?

The Influence Of Ursula K. Le Guin

London's 'Mudlark' Pulls Treasure From The Thames

For 'Wheel Of Time' Fans, The Last Battle Is At Hand

Sci-fi and fantasy

Book Concierge: Fantasy And Sci-Fi Recommendations

We asked, you answered: Your 50 favorite sci-fi and fantasy books of the past decade

We Picked Our Favorite Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books 10 Years Ago. Here Are Some We Missed

Want To Start Reading Sci-Fi And Fantasy? Here's A Beginner's Guide To The Galaxy

Judith Krantz, Queen Of The Sex And Shopping Novel, Dies At 91

Romance

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Romance Novel Special

This Valentine's Day, Make A Date With A Book

Comic-Con coverage

San Diego Comic-Con Is Turning 50: Here's Its Origin Story

Small Batch: Comic-Con Dispatches

Comic-Con 2018: Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4

Other pop culture pieces

Allons-y! Why We've Been Traveling With 'Doctor Who' For 50 Years

'Sonic The Hedgehog' And Fan Service

Is 'The Great Pottery Throw Down' The Most Relaxing Show On TV?

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Spielberg, 'BFG,' And 'The Great British Baking Show'

'Harry Potter And The Cursed Child' Makes Its Magic The Old-Fashioned Way

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Seeing Books Everywhere And Moments Of Grief

Petra's life in her own words

We Can Be Heroes — With Some Glue And A Little Fabric

Winging It: Biking Around Again In Margaritaville

One Blast Injured Dozens In Chelsea. I Saw A 2nd Device Shortly Afterward

Petra's very first NPR piece: Snow!

The Pop Culture Happy Hour panel is Linda Holmes, Glen Weldon, Stephen Thompson, and Barrie Hardymon. The audio was produced by Mike Katzif and edited by Jessica Reedy. Arielle Retting contributed to the digital story.