My plan was to tell you all about this great book: How to be a Friend to a Friend who's Sick, but then my sick friend died so I never finished the book. Instead, for these Days of the Dead, our days to remember and honor our beloved deceased; I thought I'd remind you of all the awesome authors who've passed away this year. Biographies, written while the authors were still alive, provided by the publishers.
Dr. Oliver Sacks, 1933-2015
Oliver Sacks is the author of twelve previous books, including The Mind’s Eye, Musicophilia, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Awakenings (which inspired both the Oscar-nominated film and a play by Harold Pinter). The New York Times has referred to Dr. Sacks as “the poet laureate of medicine,” and he is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. He lives in New York City, where he is a professor of neurology at the NYU School of Medicine.
Jackie Collins, 1937-2015
There have been many imitators, but only Jackie Collins can tell you what really goes on in the fastest lane of all. From Beverly Hills bedrooms to a raunchy prowl along the streets of Hollywood; from glittering rock parties and concerts to stretch limos and the mansions of the power brokers — Jackie Collins chronicles the real truth from the inside looking out. Jackie Collins has been called a “raunchy moralist” by the late director Louis Malle and “Hollywood’s own Marcel Proust” by Vanity Fair magazine. With over 500 million copies of her books sold in more than 40 countries, and with some thirty New York Times bestsellers to her credit, Jackie Collins is one of the world’s top-selling novelists. She is known for giving her readers an unrivaled insiders knowledge of Hollywood and the glamorous lives and loves of the rich, famous, and infamous! “I write about real people in disguise,” she says. “If anything, my characters are toned down — the truth is much more bizarre.”
Terry Pratchett, 1948-2015
Terry Pratchett is the acclaimed creator of the globally bestselling Discworld series, the first of which, The Color of Magic, was published in 1983. Raising Steam is his fortieth Discworld novel. His books have been widely adapted for stage and screen; he is the winner of multiple prizes, including the Carnegie Medal, and was awarded a knighthood for services to literature. After falling out with his keyboard, he now talks to his computer. Occasionally, these days, it answers back.
E.L. Doctorow, 1931-2015
E. L. DOCTOROW’S works of fiction include Homer & Langley, The March, Billy Bathgate, Ragtime, the Book of Daniel, City of God, Welcome to Hard Times, Loon Lake, World’s Fair, The Waterworks, and All the Time in the World. Among his honors are the National Book Award, three National Book Critics Circle Awards, two PEN Faulkner Awards, The Edith Wharton Citation for Fiction and the presidentially-conferred National Humanities Medal. In 2009 he was short listed for the Man Booker International Prize honoring a writer’s lifetime achievement in fiction, and in 2012 he won the PEN Saul Bellow Award given to an author whose “scale of achievement over a sustained career places him in the highest rank of American Literature.”
In 2013 the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the Gold Medal for Fiction.
Philip Levine, 1928-2015
Philip Levine is the author of seventeen collections of poetry. He has received many awards for his poetry, including the National Book Award in 1980 for Ashes and again in 1991 for What Work Is, and the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for The Simple Truth.
David Carr, 1956-2015
David Carr is the Media Equation columnist and culture reporter for The New York Times.
Colleen McCullough, 1937-2015
Guenter Grass, 1927-2015
Ann Rule, 1931-2015
Who is your favorite writer who has come and gone? Leave a comment.