Archive for the ‘Deaths’ Category

Nadine Gordimer Tributes

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Remembrances and appreciations are pouring in for Nadine Gordimer, whose books help expose the effects of South Africa’s Apartheid policies and won her a Nobel Prize for literature in 1991. She died on Sunday at 90.

Below is a selection:

NPR — Writer Nadine Gordimer Captured Apartheid’s Contradictions

New York Times — Nadine Gordimer, Novelist Who Took On Apartheid, Is Dead

The Guardian — Nadine Gordimer: five must-read books — American editions listed below:

9780140047165   9780140055931_be0f8   9780140061406

9780143119838   9781250024039

The Conservationist, Penguin Books

Burger’s Daughter, Penguin Books

July’s People, Penguin Books

Life Times: Stories, Penguin Books

No Time Like the Present, Macmillan/Picador

Walter Dean Myers Dies

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014


A pioneer in children’s literature, Walter Dean Myers, died at 76 on Tuesday. He wrote over 100 books, winning nearly every award possible and was the 2012/13 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and influencing new generations of writers.

Richard Robinson, Chairman of Scholastic, publisher of Myers’ books, released a statement late yesterday:

“Walter Dean Myers changed the face of children’s literature by representing the diversity of the children of our nation in his award-winning books. He was a deeply authentic person and writer who urged other authors, editors and publishers not only to make sure every child could find him or herself in a book, but also to tell compelling and challenging stories that would inspire children to reach their full potential. My favorite quote from Walter is a clarion call to embrace the power of books to inform and transform our lives – he said, ‘Once I began to read, I began to exist.’ He will be missed by us all.”

He also notes,

I will never forget when Walter appeared at a convention to speak about his book, Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary, which was published by Scholastic. As we waited for the booksellers to arrive, more than 100 hotel staff crowded into the dining room, drawn to this tall, dignified author they deeply admired.

EarlyWord Kids Correspondent, Lisa Von Drasek, responds to the news:

I’ve been trying to write something but…

I am a reader not a writer.

I have read Walter Dean Myers.

I have experienced the responses of children and young adult readers as they hear, read and ponder his words and stories.

I have been privileged to share meals, as well as short and long chats with Christopher [Myers’s son who illustrated many of his father’s books] and Pops  and hear them talk to audiences about their art and relationship.

You know I loved that man like a rabbit loves to run.

Goodbye, Mr. Walter Dean Myers. Goodbye.

Lisa recommends listening to Christopher and Walter Dean Myers’s StoryCorps reminiscence.

More information on Myers’ many books and accomplishments below:

Scholastic site

Children’s Book Council press release

Associated Press obituary

Washington Post obituary

Louis Zamperini Dies

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The hero of Laura Hillenbrand’s long-running best seller, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, has died at 97 of pneumonia. A movie based on that book will be released in December.

Attempts to bring Zamperini’s remarkable life to the movies began over 55 years ago.  Finally, Angelina Jolie took on the project, basing it on the 2010 book. In the process, she and Zamperini became friends. They appeared together earlier this year on  NBC’s Today Show.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Maya Angelou Dies At 86

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Caged_bird2Tributes are beginning to pour in for author Maya Angelou, who died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina yesterday.

As NPR’s Lynn Neary recounts, “Angelou once said she believed that ‘life loves the liver of it’ and she did live it, to the fullest.”

USA Today lists 13 more of her “best quotes,” including, “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

Gabriel García Márquez Dies

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Many news sources are reporting that Gabriel García Márquez has died at 87, calling him everything from a “literary pioneer” to a “giant.”

Many obituaries will be publised, below are some of the first:

The New York Times

The Washington Post

The Guardian

Journalist/Author Joe McGinniss Dies

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

The Selling of the President   The Rogue

The man who, as the AP’s publishing reporter Hillel Italie puts it, was “the adventurous and news-making author and reporter” Joe McGinniss has died at 71.

He broke new ground with his book on Richard Nixon, The Selling of the President 1968, (Penguin), the first to look at the role of marketing in presidential campaigns. For his most recent book, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin(RH/Crown), he angered his subject by actually moving in to a house next door to hers.

Dr. Sherwin Nuland Dies

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

9780679742449It had to happen, of course. Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, author of the ground-breaking 1994 National Book Award Winner and best seller, How We Die, (RH/Vintage), has died at 83.

The New York Times obituary describes the effect his book had on the medical establishment and the issues Nuland dealt with in his own life.

The news is bringing renewed interest in the book which is currently rising on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967–2014)

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

The star of several films based on books, actor Philip Symour Hoffman was found dead in his apartment yesterday,

His received strong reviews for his portrayal of a German spy in A Most Wanted Man, based on the 2008 novel by John LeCarre, which was shown at the recent Sundance Film Festival.

His most amazing transformation was as the author Truman Capote, in the film Capote, for which he won an Oscar. One of our favorites was his supporting role as the conniving Freddie Miles in The Talented Mr. Ripley (based on the book by Patricia Highsmith). He recently shot scenes in Atlanta for the the two upcoming Mockingjay movies, in which he plays Plutarch Heavensbee (news sources say this will not cause a delay. Hoffman’s scenes for Part One are said to have been completed, but there is no information on how the studio will handle Part Two).

There’s no exact U.S. release date yet for A Most Wanted Man but it is expected later this year.

Ned Vizzini Dies

Friday, December 20th, 2013

1423141911   0786809965-2  9780062079909_0_Cover-2

The L.A. Times confirms the rumors that worried fans have followed on Twitter since late yesterday; YA author Ned Vizzini, has committed suicide. He was 32.


He is the author of It’s Kind of a Funny StoryBe More Chill, (both from Miramax) Teen Angst? Naah (Random House), and The Other Normals (HarperCollins/ Balzer + Bray). This year, he published House of Secrets (HarperCollins/ Balzer + Bray) which he co-wrote with movie director Chris Columbus; a sequel, House of Secrets: Battle of the Beasts is scheduled for release on March 25.

In a tribute on New York magazine’s blog, Vulture, Vizzini’s friend Kyle Buchanan writes, “He was one of the most enthusiastic, vibrant people I knew.”

Novelist Janet Dailey Dies

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The author of 155 popular romance novels (50 of them set in each one of the states) and a fixture on best seller lists, Janet Dailey, died suddenly over the weekend after complications from heart surgery. She was 69.

Her latest title, Merry Christmas, Cowboy, (Kensington), was published in September.

Newspaper coverage:

Official obituary: KY3 News


Friday, December 6th, 2013

Last night’s Royal performance in London of the film adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, (Hachette/Little, Brown; 1994), starring Idris Elba, was overshadowed by the news that Mandela had died. Moments before receiving the dreaded phone call, Mandela’s daughter Zindzi, interviewed on the red carpet, said that her father, although frail, was doing well. She and her sister Zenani asked that the showing continue.

The movie debuted in limited release in the U.S. on Nov. 29.

Tie ins:


Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Hachette/Back Bay
9780316323543, 0316323543
Trade Paperback; $18.00 US / $20.00 Can.
Hachette Audio$30.00 US / $33.00 Can.



Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom: The Book of the Film

Nelson Mandela, Keith Bernstein
Chronicle Books
9781452128412, 1452128413
Hardback; $35.00 US

The Passing of Literary Greats

Monday, November 18th, 2013

+-+760176893_140978-0-679-82642-2 2454

It’s a week of mourning for the book world. Among the greats who died are Doris Lessing, whose The Golden Notebook was embraced by the 70’s feminist movement (she told NPR that she found that notion “stupid”), Louis Rubin, who as founder of Algonquin Press (acquired in 1989 by Workman) nurtured a generation of southern writers and published several titles himself and Barbara Park, who fulfilled her seemingly modest goal of giving readers “nothing more than a smile or two” through her many books for children, including the Junie B. Jones series.

Below are links to some of  tributes:

Doris Lessing, 1919 to 1993

How Writer Doris Lessing Didn’t Want To Be Remembered, Vicki Barker, NPR

Doris Lessing dies aged 94, The Guardian

Doris Lessing reveled in her status as a contrarian, David Ulin, L.A. Times

Louis Rubin, 1923 to 1993

Louis Rubin, monumental voice in Southern literature, dies, Raleigh News Observer

Louis D. Rubin, Jr., man of letters, dies at 89, Hillel Italie, Associated Press

Barbara Park, 1947 to 1993

Junie B. Jones author Barbara Park dies at 66, USA Today

Tom Clancy Dies

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

9780399160479_f54beBest selling author Tom Clancy has died at 66, according to the New York Times. The cause of death is not reported [UPDATE: Clancy’s home town paper, The Baltimore Sun, reports that he died after “a brief illness at the Johns Hopkins Hospital”].

His next book, Command Authority, co-authored with Mark Greaney, (Penguin/Putnam), is scheduled for released on December 3.

A movie featuring Clancy’s character, Jack Ryan, titled Jack Ryan: Shadow One, is coming to theaters on December 25. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, it stars Chris Pine as Ryan, Keira Knightly as Ryan’s wife and Kevin Costner. It is not based on a specific book in the series.

LIFE OF CRIME Premiere to Honor Elmore Leonard

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

9780062206138In The Rolling Stone Daniel Schechter describes the lengths he went to in his effort to get the rights to Elmore Leonard’s book, The Switch (HarperCollins/Morrow, part of a series of recent rereleases in trade paperback of Leonard’s classic backlist) and how hopeful he was that the author would like the resulting movie, titled Life of Crime.

He had reason to be nervous. With the exceptions of Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, and the FX series, Justified, Leonard wasn’t a fan of the majority of the many adaptations of his work. With the author’s death on Tuesday, first-time director Schecter will never know which category his film would have fallen into.

Starring Jennifer Aniston, the movie was renamed Life of Crime, presumably to separate it from a very different movie Aniston starred in earlier, The Switch, based on a Jeffrey Eugenides’ short story The Baster.

Life of Crime, which also stars John Hawkes, Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins, will premiere next month at the Toronto International Film Festival’s closing gala, which, notes The Rolling Stone is “an unprecedented honor for a relatively new filmmaker” and will be dedicated to Leonard’s memory.


Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

We just learned the sad news that Elmore Leonard, who was hospitalized three weeks ago with a stroke, died at 87 at his home this morning. The news was announced on his Web site.

The most recent of his 45 novels was Raylan, published last fall (Harper/Morrow; Blackstone Audio) the third crime novel featuring U.S. marshal Raylan Givens. The character was the basis for FX series,  Justified. According to the NYT obituary, he approved of the series, which was unusual for him, since he “candidly and comically disdainful of the treatment his books generally received from Hollywood,” and even wrote this book with the series in mind.