R. I. P. -- The Authors Thread

Discussion in 'Books' started by Val1, May 8, 2012.

  1. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
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    Not a writer, but a champion of writers and comics...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/14/u...on&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

    Al Bendich, 85.


    Al Bendich, a lawyer who successfully defended the right to free speech in two landmark midcentury obscenity cases — involving Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” and Lenny Bruce’s nightclub act — died on Jan. 5 in Oakland, Calif. He was 85.

    Mr. Bendich was the last living member of the defense team in the “Howl” case, in which the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who had published and sold “Howl” in book form, stood trial in San Francisco in 1957.

    He was the sole defense lawyer in the first of Bruce’s obscenity trials, in San Francisco in 1962. Of the four obscenity trials Bruce would go through, the San Francisco case was the only one to end in an acquittal.

    “Al’s work set a standard for freedom of artistic expression,” the civil rights lawyer Michael E. Tigar said in a recent interview. “Can you imagine a world in which it could be a crime to say words that you can hear on cable TV every night? That’s the world of the Sixties, in which there were legal prohibitions of the work of Henry Miller and Allen Ginsberg and comedians such as Lenny Bruce. So this was pathbreaking.”​

     
  2. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
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    Crap, missed a giant ...

    Robert Stone, 77

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/n...spired-by-war-dies-at-77-.html?ref=obituaries

    Robert Stone, who wrote ambitious, award-winning novels about errant Americans in dangerous circumstances or on existential quests — or both — as commentary on an unruly, wayward nation in the Vietnam era and beyond, died on Saturday at his home in Key West, Fla. He was 77....

    A seagoing Navy man who spent beatnik years in New York that evanesced into hippiedom in California, Mr. Stone led an adventuresome early life that was crucial in the development of his work. He participated fully in the drug-fueled 1960s, when he spent time with the novelist Ken Kesey and his friends, known as the Merry Pranksters, whose notoriety was spread by Tom Wolfe in “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test”; and he briefly spent time as a Vietnam War correspondent.

    The author of eight novels, a pair of story collections and a memoir, “Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties” (2007), Mr. Stone may not have been especially prolific, but his novels were big and serious, commanding attention as literary events and often seized upon by critics as an opportunity to write about the novelistic traditions he was either perpetuating, stretching, satirizing or defying.

    They include “Dog Soldiers,” set in Vietnam and California, the tale of a heroin-smuggling deal gone horribly wrong that won the National Book Award in 1975; “A Flag for Sunrise” (1981), a Pulitzer Prize finalist about an American professor and others drawn into the ominous pre-revolution politics of a Central American nation reminiscent of Nicaragua on the eve of the Sandinista coup; “Outerbridge Reach” (1992), about the crises, both spiritual and real, of a solo sailor attempting to circumnavigate the globe and win a race; and “Damascus Gate” (1998), a thriller set in Jerusalem and Gaza involving gun-smuggling, drugs and the intifada. Collectively and individually, they earned Mr. Stone comparisons to a wide range of literary lions, from Beckett to Hemingway to Graham Greene.


    "Dog Soldiers" and "Prime Green" are terrific, IMO
     
  3. Val1

    Val1 Member+

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    Mar 12, 2004
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  4. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I'm sure anyone who cares about this has already heard it, but it took a bit of digging to find the original obituary from The Australian for McCullough...

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/art...201243185?nk=96ef2989b9d7274c2bd32f41d057d440

    COLLEEN McCullough, Australia’s best selling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth. In one interview, she said: “I’ve never been into clothes or figure and the interesting thing is I never had any trouble attracting men.”

    Thank God sexism isn't over. My daughter's life would just be too easy.

    Aye caramba...
     
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  5. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2015/01/30/obituaries-for-men/
     
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  6. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
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    Jack Leggett, 97

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/31/a...module=Recommendation&src=recg&pgtype=article

    Head dude at the Iowa Writers Workshop. Say what you will about the effects of institutionalized creative writing programs...

    Among the students he admitted — manuscripts were and are a key element of a student’s application — were T. Coraghessan Boyle, Allan Gurganus, Michael Cunningham, Jane Smiley, Sandra Cisneros, Kent Haruf, Ethan Canin, Jayne Anne Phillips, Tracy Kidder, Denis Johnson and Bob Shacochis, many of whom returned to teach.​


    ...there are some good writers in that list, and they're not molded from the same cookie cutter. And while I don't know his fiction, his biographies ...

    His other books include a biography of the novelist and playwright William Saroyan, “A Daring Young Man,” published in 2002, when Mr. Leggett was in his 80s; and “Ross and Tom; Two American Tragedies”(1974), a dual biography of two young best-selling novelists of the late 1940s — Ross Lockridge Jr., the author of “Raintree County,” and Thomas Heggen, who wrote “Mister Roberts” — each of whom committed suicide in the wake of his success.​


    ... are really good.
     
  7. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Poet Philip Levine, 87.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/16/a...n-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182873

    What Work Is.

    We stand in the rain in the long line
    waiting at Ford Highland Park. For work.
    You know what work is—if you’re
    old enough to read this you know what
    work is, although you may not do it.
    Forget you. This is about waiting,
    shifting from one foot to another.
    Feeling the light rain falling like mist
    into your hair, blurring your vision
    until you think you see your own brother
    ahead of you, maybe ten places.
    You rub your glasses with your fingers,
    and of course it’s someone else’s brother,
    narrower across the shoulders than
    yours but with the same sad slouch, the grin
    that does not hide the stubbornness,
    the sad refusal to give in to
    rain, to the hours of wasted waiting,
    to the knowledge that somewhere ahead
    a man is waiting who will say, “No,
    we’re not hiring today,” for any
    reason he wants. You love your brother,
    now suddenly you can hardly stand
    the love flooding you for your brother,
    who’s not beside you or behind or
    ahead because he’s home trying to
    sleep off a miserable night shift
    at Cadillac so he can get up
    before noon to study his German.
    Works eight hours a night so he can sing
    Wagner, the opera you hate most,
    the worst music ever invented.
    How long has it been since you told him
    you loved him, held his wide shoulders,
    opened your eyes wide and said those words,
    and maybe kissed his cheek? You’ve never
    done something so simple, so obvious,
    not because you’re too young or too dumb,
    not because you’re jealous or even mean
    or incapable of crying in
    the presence of another man, no,
    just because you don’t know what work is.
     
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  8. argentine soccer fan

    Staff Member

    Jan 18, 2001
    San Francisco Bay Area
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  9. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
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    Of all the books and authors I've ever read, Pratchett penned my single favorite character: Death.
     
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  10. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    A rare double: First: Essential Soccer Book author and otherwise outstanding novelist Eduardo Galeano, 74 (72 in some reports)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/13/eduardo-galeano-dead-dies_n_7054062.html


    Galeano was best known for his 1971 anti-imperialist work, "Open Veins of Latin America," which details Latin America's exploitation at the hands of foreign powers, beginning with Spanish colonization five centuries ago and continuing to the present with the United States. The book was banned for years across the continent, including in Uruguay, at the hands of military dictatorships. Galeano himself was arrested and exiled after a military coup lead by Juan Maria Bordaberry took over Uruguay in 1973.

    The book has been widely praised and has been translated into at least 20 languages.In 2009, the Guardian called Galeano "one of the most well-known and celebrated writers in Latin America."

    "We have a memory cut in pieces," he once told "Democracy Now. "And I write trying to recover our real memory, the memory of humankind, what I call the human rainbow, which is much more colorful and beautiful than the other one, the other rainbow. But the human rainbow had been mutilated by machismo, racism, militarism and a lot of other isms, who have been terribly killing our greatness, our possible greatness, our possible beauty."​


    And post-war German heavyweight and Nobel Prize winner Gunter Grass, 87.

    http://www.npr.org/2015/04/13/37540...d-germanys-past-as-well-as-his-own-dies-at-87


    Günter Grass wrote more than 30 plays, novels, books of poems, essays and memoirs. He was also a visual artist and sculptor. He won the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature. He died of undisclosed causes in the German town of Lübeck, his publisher, Steidl Verlag, confirmed. He was 87 years old.

    Grass was best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum, and for the secret he kept for half a century: Grass was 6 years old when Hitler came to power and the Germans took control of his hometown, the Free City of Danzig — today, Gdańsk, Poland....

    ....
    Grass became known as the conscience of Germany, a liberal who engaged in politics and spoke his mind. When the Berlin Wall came down, Grass argued against reunification, saying a united Germany could once again become a war-mongering state.

    But then, in 2006, Grass finally admitted that his service at the end of World War II was with the Waffen-SS — the combat unit of the Nazi Party's elite military police force. Mews says the revelation exposed Grass as a hypocrite.

    "When President Reagan visited the Federal Republic in the late '80s," Mews explains, "he and Chancellor [Helmut] Kohl visited the cemetery — and there were graves of Waffen-SS members. And Grass condemned this act without mentioning that he himself might have been one of those who were lying there in the cemetery."

    Mews says Grass never adequately explained why he kept his service in the Waffen-SS a secret. "He should have said it earlier," Mews says. "But on the other hand, I don't think it invalidates his work, his fiction. And his dramas and his activities in the service of building a better, a more democratic Germany after the war."​

     
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  11. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
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    And another double...

    Peter Gay, 91, author of intelligent and readable intellectual histories and biographies (a long one on Freud, short one on Mozart)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/13/a...on&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0


    The sweep and daring of his intellectual project, and his immense erudition, ensured that Mr. Gay remained an unignorable historian long after his retirement. At 84, he published “Modernism: The Lure of Heresy,” a characteristically wide-lensed view of the subject.

    “His range of interests was extraordinary,” Ms. Jacob said. “He was all over the European map, in both the 18th and 19th centuries. Everybody had been entrenched in national histories of the Enlightenment, but he stood out by saying, ‘Hey, take a look across the border.’”​


    And William Zinnser, author of some pretty useful writing guides, 92...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/13/a...-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well


    Mr. Zinsser wrote 19 books, taught at Yale and elsewhere, was drama editor and movie critic for The New York Herald Tribune and executive editor of the Book-of-the-Month Club.

    But it was his role as an arbiter of good writing that resonated widely and deeply. “On Writing Well,” first published by Harper & Row in 1976, has gone through repeated editions, at least four of which were substantially revised to include subjects like new technologies (the word processor) and new demographic trends (more writers from other cultural traditions).

    It became a book that editors and teachers encouraged writers to reread annually in the manner of another classic on the craft of writing, “The Elements of Style,” by William Strunk and E.B. White.

    Mr. Zinsser went beyond that earlier book’s admonitions on writerly dos and don’ts; he used his professional experience to immerse readers in the tribulations of authorship, even subconscious ones.

    “Ultimately, the product any writer has to sell is not the subject being written about, but who he or she is,” Mr. Zinsser wrote in “On Writing Well.” “I often find myself reading with interest about a topic I never thought would interest me — some scientific quest, perhaps. What holds me is the enthusiasm of the writer for his field.”​

     
  12. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
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  13. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
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    James Tate, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, 71. He was the first poet I ever actually met when he read at my college. Amazingly strange poems, perfectly normal guy so far as I can tell...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/11/b...on&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

    A prolific writer, he turned out one collection after another, none of them slim. “The Ghost Soldiers,” published in 2008, contains nearly 100 poems. He won a wide following, especially among younger readers attracted by his colloquial style, his gift for making unexpected connections, and his ability to extract humor from dark places. John Ashbery, one of his most ardent admirers, called him “the poet of possibilities, of morph, of surprising consequences, lovely or disastrous.”​


    Some poems here.

    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/james-tate#about

    The Lost Pilot is about his father, KIA in Europe four months after Tate's birth, having never seen his son. "******** the Astronauts" is about everything except ********ing and astronauts.
     
  14. Nacional Tijuana

    Nacional Tijuana BigSoccer Supporter

    May 6, 2003
    San Diego, Calif.
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  15. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Ann Rule, who wrote true crime stories, has passed away at 83.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ann-rule-dead_55b71f41e4b0074ba5a60a42?

    In an early act of crowd-sourcing, Rule aided the Green River task force by passing along tips that readers/visitors of her blog passed along. I remember reading a quote from one of the members of the task force saying that these tips were invaluable.
     
  16. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Oliver Sacks, 82. One of the most interesting and accessible writers on science ever.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/health-...s-was-a-boundless-explorer-of-the-human-brain

    Sacks' ability to combine science and storytelling eventually led to prestigious academic posts and best-selling books. But his career got off to a rocky start.

    "The first part of Oliver's life was a challenge," says Orrin Devinsky, a professor of neurology at New York University, where Sacks worked for many years. "He tried to make it as a scientist and didn't do well."

    Sacks was born in London. Both of his parents were doctors, and Sacks himself went to medical school at Oxford. But when results of the final anatomy exam were posted, Sacks saw he had scored near the bottom.

    So he went to a local pub. After four or five hard ciders, Sacks headed back to school and asked to take an optional essay exam to compete for the university prize in anatomy. By that time, the exam had already started.

    "So Oliver literally staggered into this room with about 15 or 20 students busily writing into their blue books and asked the professor if he could take the essay exam," Devinsky says. "And the professor looked at him kind of like: Are you sure you are in the right place?"

    He was. Even though Sacks arrived late and left early, his essay on brain structure and function won the university prize.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/31/s...on&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

    Describing his patients’ struggles and sometimes uncanny gifts, Dr. Sacks helped introduce syndromes like Tourette’s or Asperger’s to a general audience. But he illuminated their characters as much as their conditions; he humanized and demystified them.

    In his emphasis on case histories, Dr. Sacks modeled himself after a questing breed of 19th-century physicians, who well understood how little they and their peers knew about the workings of the human animal and who saw medical science as a vast, largely uncharted wilderness to be tamed.

    “I had always liked to see myself as a naturalist or explorer,” Dr. Sacks wrote in “A Leg to Stand On” (1984), about his own experiences recovering from muscle surgery. “I had explored many strange, neuropsychological lands — the furthest Arctics and Tropics of neurological disorder.”

    His intellectual curiosity took him even further. On his website, Dr. Sacks maintained a partial list of topics he had written about. It included aging, amnesia, color, deafness, dreams, ferns, Freud, hallucinations, neural Darwinism, phantom limbs, photography, pre-Columbian history, swimming and twins.

     
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  17. Val1

    Val1 Member+

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    Wankler memorializes Oliver Sacks, James Tate and James Salter in this thread. And I pass along the news that Jackie Collins has passed away at age 77.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/09/20/best_selling_author_jackie_collins_dies_at_77.html

    And since I could never really keep Jackie Collins and Joan Collins separate, a pretty funny pic of them both:

    84988091-writer-jackie-collins-and-actress-joan-collins-arrive-at.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge.jpg

     
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  18. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
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    As far as keeping them straight, if you throw singer Judy Collins into the mix I would have to fake it across three distinct genres.
     
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  19. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
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    Judy has a song about her.
    Not sure how to tell the other two apart.
     
  20. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Swedish playwright and crime novelist Henning Mankell, 67

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/06/w...ll-swedish-novelist-playwright-dies.html?_r=0

    Henning Mankell, the Swedish novelist and playwright best known for police proceduralsthat were translated into a score of languages and sold by the millions throughout the world, died on Monday in Goteborg, Sweden. He was 67.. . .

    ...Mr. Mankell was considered the dean of the so-called Scandinavian noir writers, who gained global prominence for novels that blended edge-of-your-seat suspense with flawed, compelling protagonists and strong social themes. Others include Arnaldur Indridason of Iceland, Jo Nesbo of Norway and Stieg Larsson of Sweden.

    But it was Mr. Mankell who led the way, with 10 mystery novels featuring Inspector Kurt Wallander, a gruff but humane detective troubled by self-doubt, overeating, alcoholism and, eventually, dementia. Most of the action in those books takes place in and around Ystad, a real-life town of 18,350 inhabitants on the Baltic Sea; it has become a magnet for Wallander buffs.

    Mr. Mankell divided his time between Stockholm and Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, where he was artistic director of Teatro Avenida, a local theater.

    “I came to Africa with one purpose: I wanted to see the world outside the perspective of European egocentricity,” he wrote in an essay for The New York Times in 2011. “I could have chosen Asia or South America. I ended up in Africa because the plane ticket there was cheapest.”

    Though Africa was rarely the main setting for Mr. Mankell’s detective novels, it informed his sensitivity to the mistreatment of non-European immigrants in enlightened Sweden.

    “Solidarity with those in need runs through his entire work and manifested itself in action until the very end,” Robert Johnsson, Mr. Mankell’s literary agent for Sweden, and Dan Israel, with whom he founded the publishing company Leopard, said in a statement.​

     
  21. zaqualung

    zaqualung Member+

    Jun 17, 2015
    San Francisco
    Club:
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    He had a fantastic imagination (startlingly original and unique) but was a somewhat limited and repetitive writer. He wasn't the persona one would imagine either from his work....
     
  22. zaqualung

    zaqualung Member+

    Jun 17, 2015
    San Francisco
    Club:
    Liverpool FC

    Not by poor people cowering in their shacks beneath fighter jet bombers in the third world.....
     
  23. zaqualung

    zaqualung Member+

    Jun 17, 2015
    San Francisco
    Club:
    Liverpool FC

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