Timothy Seldes, 88, who had a long career as an editor and literary agent in New York and whose clients included such well-regarded writers as Peter Taylor, Anne Tyler, and Nobel Prize-winner Nadine Gordimer, died Saturday at his home in Washington. He had complications from pneumonia, said his stepdaughter, Elizabeth Shreve.
Mr. Seldes began his six-decade career as a bookstore clerk before working as an editor at several publishing houses.
In 1972, he bought one of New York's most prestigious literary agencies, Russell & Volkening. He specialized in high-end fiction and literary nonfiction, acquiring many books that became bestsellers and canonical works of literature.
Among the writers Mr. Seldes inherited at Russell & Volkening were novelists Saul Bellow, Bernard Malamud, and Eudora Welty, historian Barbara Tuchman, and journalist George Plimpton.