Literary Losses, 2010

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.


5 thoughts on “Literary Losses, 2010

  1. So many gone… and several of my favorite writers are at an age when I won’t be surprised, only saddened, to hear about their deaths. Isn’t it wonderful, though, that they will live on through their written words?


  2. I just received my Crimespree magazine and it’s largely devoted to David Thompson, owner of the Murder by the Book store in Houston (with his wife) and friend to many writers. He had a fatal heart attack at 38.


  3. I do the same thing during the Oscars/Emmys, etc. so I love this list.

    Also, apparently I don’t read much because I hadn’t even heard of most of these fine people.

    Have to mention Stephen J. Cannell – great writer, and he guest starred on the series “Castle” as one of Castle’s poker-playing buddies. They did a nice little tribute to him at the end of one of the shows this season.

    Happy New Year!


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