Every time I watch the Academy Awards, I pull my chair closer to the television when it is time to salute the passing of artists who died during the last year. As 2010 comes to an end, I’d like to do the same and honor the writers who passed away in the last twelve months.
We lost people who helped to create icons such as Pokémon; Holden, Fanny & Zooey; Oliver Barrett IV and Jenny Cavelleri; Jim Rockford and Spenser; The Fiddler on the Roof; and Soho Press.
The first two names on the list are particularly poignant for me. I fell in love with Louis Auchincloss’s masterfully written portraits of New York and New England society, while Beryl Bainbridge’s harrowing The Birthday Boys gave me a lifelong, albeit long-distance, interest in Antarctic explorers. The world of children’s literature suffered the loss of magically imaginative Eva Ibbotson; it was sad to see Newbery winner Sid Fleischman pass away at 92, but sadder that Poppy Cat’s creator Lara Jones died at 34.
This is certainly an incomplete list, but the following are authors who passed away in 2010, and their most recognizable works
Louis Auchincloss – The Rector of Justin
Dame Beryl Bainbridge – An Awfully Big Adventure
Vance Bourjaily – Brill Among the Ruins
Stephen J. Cannell – The Rockford Files (television)
Philip Carlo – The Night Stalker
Ruth Chew – The Enchanted Book
Lucille Clifton – poet laureate of Maryland
Paul Conrad – LA Times political cartoonist
Robert Dana – poet laureate of Iowa
Sid Fleischman – The Whipping Boy
Dick Francis – The Sport of Queens
Anne Froelick – blacklisted screenwriter
Barry Hannah – Geronimo Rex
Arthur Herzog – Orca, The Swarm
Laura Chapman Hruska – co-founder of Soho Press
James Hudson – science fiction short stories
Eva Ibbotson – The Secret of Platform 13
Elizabeth Jenkins – biographer (Jane Austen)
Lara Jones – Poppy Cat
Robert Katz – The Cassandra Crossing
David Markson – The Last Novel
William Mayne – A Grass Rope
David Mills – NYPD Blue (television)
Edwin Newman – Strictly Speaking: Will America Be The Death of English?
Robert B. Parker – Spenser detective novels
Harvey Pekar – American Splendor
Belva Plain – Evergreen
Elizabeth Post- Emily Post’s Complete Book of Wedding Etiquette
Hugh Prather – Notes to Myself
Paul Quarrington – Whale Music
Jennifer Rardin – Jaz Parks series
Jeanne Robinson – The Stardance Saga
J. D. Salinger – The Catcher in the Rye
Daniel Schorr – CBS News, NPR Radio
Erich Segal – Love Story
Robert Serling – The President’s Plane is Missing
Takeshi Shudo – Pokemon
Joseph Stein – Fiddler on the Roof
Edwin Charles Tubb – The Dumarest Saga
Ann Wood Waldron – Princeton Murder mysteries
Howard Zinn – A People’s History of the United States
If I left someone out that you would like to mention, please do. The work of these artists will never die, as long as their stories are enjoyed and read.
Best wishes for a good 2011.