Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Writers who passed away in 2007

This is always a sad chore that I endure every year: the listing of writers who passed on in the previous year. I do this because I want to make sure that I remember those great individuals who are no longer with us. It's easiest to remember who dies in the latter part of the year but those who had the misfortune to die in the early part of the year are too easily forgotten. Some of the names are well know others are not but each were important contributors to our literary culture.

David Halberstam, 73, Journalist

  • He died in a tragic car accident last year. Will be remembered for the work he did during the Vietnam War. His latest book, The Coldest Winter, focused on the forgotten war, the Korean War.

Mark Harris, 84, Novelist

  • Best known for his book "Bang the Drum Slowly."

Molly Ivins, 62, Best-selling Author and Columnist
"The sharp-witted liberal who referred to George W. Bush as 'Shrub'."

  • Molly, Molly, Molly, the world will not the same without Molly. She was funny and smart and so on point about so many issues. Losing her voice is a personal tragedy for me. She would have been even more effective as a blogger. She will be sorely missed.

Madeleine L'Engle, 88, Author

Norman Mailer, 84, Author and Novelist

Tillie Olsen, 94, Feminist Author

  • Ms. Olsen was an early feminist writer and is best known for her book "Tell Me a Riddle." We have a cafe here in Brooklyn around the corner of my house called Tillie's named after this author that does a lot of readings and other literary activities.

Sembene Ousmane, 84, filmmaker and novelist

Grace Paley, 84, Acclaimed poet and short story writer.

Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., 89, Pulitzer-winning historian

Sekou Sundiata, 58, Spoken Word Artist and Poet

Kurt Vonnegut, 84, Author


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