Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Necrologies - Authors Edition

Many authors died this year. I'm not able to list them all. Here are some of the notable ones. Though all will be remembered fondly by their fans and readers.

Frank McCourt (August 19, 1930 - July 19, 2009)

The first one is a hard one for me, he was one of my favorite authors.

Won the Pulitzer prize in 1997 for his book Angela's Ashes. Taught at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. Finished his trilogy with the books 'Tis and Teacher Man. He died of a Cerebral melanoma, he was one month away from his 79th birthday.

Dominick Dunne (October 29, 1925 - August 26, 2009)

Author of numerous articles and books, and father of the late actress Dominique Dunne. Some of his books include Too Much Money, Justice: Crimes, Trials and Punishements and An Inconvenient Woman. Mr. Dunne died of bladder cancer, he was 83.

Edith Hahn-Beer (January 24, 1914 - March 17, 2009)

She survived WWII by assuming a fake identity and marrying a Nazi, and later wrote of her experiences. In 1999, she published "The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust"; her work became a best-seller, and has been translated into multiple languages. In 2003, Susan Sarandon narrated a BBC documentary based on the book, and a movie is currently in pre-production. Mrs. Hahn-Beer lived her final years in a London nursing home. She died of natural causes at the age of 95.

John Updike (March 18, 1932 – January 27, 2009)

Author of Pulitzer Prize winning novels Rabbit Is Rich and Rabbit At Rest. He published more than twenty novels and more than a dozen short story collections, as well as poetry, art criticism, literary criticism and children's books. Hundreds of his stories, reviews, and poems appeared in The New Yorker, starting in 1954. He also wrote regularly for The New York Review of Books. John Updike died of lung cancer at the age of 76.

Blair Lent (January 20, 1930 – January 27, 2009)

Author and Illustrator of mostly Chinese-themed books, including the popular 1968 children's book Tikki Tikki Tembo. Lent was a resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts and died at age 79 from pneumonia.

Hortense Calisher (December 20, 1911 – January 13, 2009)

As an anti-minimalist, Calisher was admired for her elliptical style in which more is hinted at than stated, and she was also praised as a social realist and critic in the vein of Honore Balzac and Edith Wharton. She died of natural causes at the age of 97

Bill Holm (August 25, 1943 – February 25, 2009)

Poet, essayist, memoirist, and musician, Bill Holm wrote twelve books. Among them were Landscape of Ghosts and The Music of Failure.

He died at the age of 65 in South Dakota.

Tom Deitz (January 17, 1952 – April 27, 2009)

Was an American Science Fiction writer.

He was the author of the Soulsmith Trilogy, comprising the books Soulsmith, Dreambuilder, and Wordwright. He also wrote a popular series consisting of Windmaster's Bane, Fireshaper's Doom, Darkthunder's Way, Sunshaker's War, Stoneskin's Revenge, Ghostcountry's Wrath, Dreamseeker's Road, Landslayer's Law, and Warstalker's Track. His stand-alone novel The Gryphon King centers around a few of the characters from the later novels in the last series mentioned.

He died of heart failure at the age of 57.

Jack D. Hunter (June 4, 1921 – April 13, 2009)

Author of The Blue Max. Hunter was the author of 17 novels, his last being The Ace, which was published on Oct. 1, 2008. Like The Blue Max, which is still popular after 44 years, The Ace deals with World War I aviation, but focuses on the human costs and chaotic conditions that belabored the Americans in their need to build a world-class air force virtually overnight.

Hunter died of cancer at the age of 87.

John Michell (February 9, 1933 – April 24, 2009

British born John Michell was the author of over forty books. Some of his notable works include The Flying Saucer Vision, The View Over Atlantis, The Measure of Albion, Who Wrote Shakespeare? His 1969 volume The View Over Atlantis has been described as probably the most influential book in the history of the hippy / underground movement.

Michell died of cancer at the age of 76.

Elsie B. Washington (December 28, 1942 – May 5, 2009)

American author whose 1980 work Entwined Destinies has been considered the first romance novel written by an African-American author featuring African-American characters.

Primarily a journalist, she wrote two nonfiction books, Sickle Cell Anemia and Uncivil War: The Struggle Between Black Men and Women.

Washington was born in the Bronx. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from the City College of New York. Afterward she was a writer and editor with The New York Post, Life Magazine, Newsweek and Essence magazine.

She passed away at the age of 66 due to cancer and complications due to multiple sclerosis.

E. Lynn Harris (June 20, 1955 – July 23, 2009)

He authored ten consecutive books to make the The New York Times Best Seller list, making him among the most successful African American or gay authors of his era.

He was found unconscious at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. An autopsy determined that the cause of death was heart disease, he was 54.

Jim Carroll (August 1, 1949 – September 11, 2009)

Carroll was best known for his 1978 autobiographical work The Basketball Diaries, which was made into the 1995 film of the same name, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Carroll.

Carroll, 60, died of a heart attack at his Manhattan home, it was stated that he was at his desk working when he died.


thetruebookaddict said...

Such sad losses to the literary world. My most felt were Frank McCourt and Dominick Dunne. My mom is also a big fan of Dominick Dunne.

itsJUSTme-wendy said...

Great post! Nice tribute. I also noticed the picture (link) of Patrick Swayze at the bottom, I was a big fan of his and was very sad when he died. My daughter gave me a special edition of "Dirty Dancing" for Christmas. I would like to get his auto Bio. I heard it is very good.