29 January 2013 - WRITERS LOST IN 2012

Copyright Clancy Tucker (c)


LOST IN 2012

G'day guys,
We lost a heap of talent last year, some of whom have been featured on this blog. BESTSELLING author Bryce Courtenay, described by his publisher as a "latter-day Dickens'', died at his home in Canberra recently after a short battle with stomach cancer. He was 79. South African-born Courtenay, who moved to Australia in the 1950s, wrote 21 novels, his last, Jack of Diamonds, published in time for the Christmas market as was his habit. Here are some others ...

Gore Vidal, 86
(Oct. 3, 1925, to July 31, 2012)

The wicked wit was one of the last survivors from the golden age of American letters. Writers from Nathaniel Rich to Morris Dickstein.

Nora Ephron, 71
(May 19, 1941, to June 26, 2012)

She could do it all: directing, screenwriting, journalism, humor, novels.

Carlos Fuentes, 83
(November 11, 1928 to May 15, 2012)

The Mexican novelist was one of the icons of the Latin American explosion “El Boom.” Mac Margolis and Lorenza Muñoz on the literary father.

Ray Bradbury, 91
(Aug. 22, 1920, to June 5, 2012)

Science fiction was not the same after Fahrenheit 451.

Maurice Sendak, 83
(June 10, 1928, to May 8, 2012)

Every American knows Where the Wild Things Are.

Helen Gurley Brown, 90
(Feb. 18, 1922 to Aug. 13, 2012)

Brown was editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan for 32 years.

 Larry L. King

Robert Hughes, 74
(July 28, 1938, to Aug. 6, 2012)

The hulking Australian-born art critic had a powerful voice and love of verbal combat.

Adrienne Rich, 82
(May 16, 1929, to March 27, 2012)

One of the most influential poets of our time.

David Rakoff, 47
(Nov. 27, 1964, to Aug. 9, 2012)

The humorist and journalist died in New York after a long battle with cancer.

Eric Hobsbawn, 95
(June 9, 1917 to Oct. 1, 2012)

The British Marxist historian chronicled the troubled 20th century with great insight.

Jacques Barzun, 104
(Nov. 20, 1907 to Oct. 25, 2012)

The French-born cultural historian published his magnum opus, From Dawn to Decadence, when he was 93. Paul Devlin remembers Barzun remembering Robert Pitney.

Charles Rosen, 85
(May 5, 1927, to Dec. 9, 2012)

The pianist and music critic’s collection of cascading essays, Freedom and the Arts, came out earlier this year.

Wislawa Szymborska, 88
(July 2, 1923, to Feb. 1, 2012)

The Polish poet won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996.

 Adrienne Rich
*Alexander Cockburn, 71
(June 6, 1941, to July 21, 2012)
Michael Tomasky remembers working for the radical journalist and columnist for The Nation.

David Oliver Relin, 49
(Dec. 12, 1962, to Nov. 15, 2012)

The American journalist helped write the controversial “memoir” Three Cups of Tea—he was widely considered innocent of the lying of which coauthor Greg Mortenson was accused.

Andrew Breitbart, 43
(Feb. 1, 1969, to March 1, 2012)

David Frum on the culture war that the conservative blogger, who died suddenly in Los Angeles, unleashed. His coroner’s technician also died weeks later.

Barney Rosset, 89
(May 28, 1922, to Feb. 21, 2012)

Louisa Thomas’s 2008 profile of the publisher who bought D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Samuel Becket’s Waiting for Godot, and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer.

John Keegan, 78
(May 15, 1934, to Aug. 2, 2012)
Newsweek’s review of the military historian’s A History of Warfare.
Marion Cunningham, 90
(Feb. 11, 1922, to Aug. 11, 2012)

The food writer who revised The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

James Q. Wilson, 80
(May 27, 1931, to March 4, 2012)

John Turner Sargent, Sr., 87
(June 26, 1924, to Feb. 5, 2012)
The man who made Doubleday into a giant of the publishing industry.

Keiji Nakazawa, 73
(March 14, 1939, to Dec. 19, 2012)

The Japanese manga artist who created the groundbreaking Barefoot Gen graphic novels.

Jean Craighead George, 92
(July 2, 1919, to May 15, 2012)

The writer of more than a hundred children’s books, including the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves.

Doris Betts, 79
(June 4, 1931, to April 21, 2012)

The novelist who wrote the collection Beasts of the Southern Wild and Other Stories.

Harry Crews, 76
(June 7, 1935, to March 28, 2012)

The American writer of dark fiction.

Larry L. King, 83
(Jan. 1, 1929, to Dec. 20, 2012)
The playwright best known for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

James Fogle, 75
(Sept. 29, 1936, to Aug. 23, 2012)

The author of the autobiographical novel Drugstore Cowboy.

Philip L. Fradkin, 77
(Feb. 28, 1935, to July 8, 2012)

A writer who chronicled the environmental destruction in the West.

Jean Merrill, 89
(Jan. 27, 1923, to Aug. 2, 2012)

The children’s author best known for The Pushcart War.

Maeve Binchy, 72
(May 28, 1940, to July 30, 2012)

One of Ireland’s most popular novelists.

 Maeve Binchy
*Donald J. Sobol, 87
(Oct. 4, 1924, to July 11, 2012)

The author of the Encyclopedia Brown books.

Clancy's comment: I wonder who will take their place? Hopefully, one of you. Pax vobiscum! Stay healthy.

I'm ...


  1. Wow, so many! So much talent lost. We can only imagine how many wonderful books will never be written, how many wonderful movies will never be crafted. But you're right; those of us still here will have to take up the torch.

  2. Anthony R. CarrozzaJanuary 29, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Gore Vidal was the loss I truly hated to see. Not only were his books enjoyable, he had a marvelous wit, especially when jousting with another writer. The best barbs he saved for Truman Capote (another of my favorites). Whenever Vidal appeared on a TV talk show I always tuned it. There are not many of his stature still around.