obituary

Tom Clancy (1947 – 2013)

Cover Art: Executive OrdersTo say that Tom Clancy was a creature of his times is not a put-down. It is a sovereign fact that he capitalized in a big way on the resurgence in capital P-style patriotism of the Reagan years, as well as the long-hoped-for healing of the nation’s wounds inflicted by the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal and the rise of the Rust Belt where our Industrial Might once stood. But that zeitgeist booster rocket he rode to vast fame and still vaster fortune w...

Seamus Heaney (1939 - 2013)

cover art: Electric Light by Seamus HeaneyThe Nobel laureate, Seamus Heaney, had the great good fortune to be born in a place that values poetry in a way that most Americans cannot imagine. He was an honest-to-goodness celebrity in his native Ireland, not perhaps on a Bieberian scale, but solidly, unostentatiously famous nonetheless. Right around the time he accepted the Nobel laurels, he became something beyond the poet and teacher he started out to be. He became a sage, a go-to quote-maker on the Big Questions of the day, and I think to some extent he relished those extracurricular roles. I know he was awfully good at them.

It's...

Carlos Fuentes 1928 - 2012

Cover Art: The Buried Mirror by Carlos Fuentes

Carlos Fuentes who passed away last week at the age of 83 left behind a multifaceted legacy that most writers can only dream of. Up until the very day he died, he was an active, larger-than-life presence in the literary, political, social and intellectual life of his native México, and one imagines his influence will still be felt long after the memory of him as a flesh and blood human being is gone.

He was lionized in his own country, but his influence on the literary environment in this one should not be underestimated. It was Fuentes, along with

Florence Parry Heide (1919 - 2011)

Cover Art: The Shrinking of TreehornChildren’s author, Florence Parry Heide, passed away on October 24 at the age of 92. The author of over one hundred books for children and teens, she is perhaps best known for The Shrinking of Treehorn and its sequels, all illustrated by Edward Gorey.

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Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)

She was born in England to American parents and was an international star by the time she was a teenager.

She entranced people all over the world with her beauty – especially with those incredible violet eyes.  Yet she never really thought of herself as a great beauty and said that Ava Gardner truly deserved that title.
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