In Memoriam

June 8, 2012

A Teller of Truths: Ray Bradbury’s Middle East Connection 3

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My Middle Eastern memorial to Ray Bradbury may seem an unorthodox one, but it is the one he doubtless desired. When asked how he would like to be remembered, he gave an answer that sadly none of the obituarists have recalled.

May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak Dies 3

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The New York Times is reporting that Maurice Sendak has died at 83. In part because I shared a name with its main character, Where the Wild Things Are was a beloved book of mine. Sendak’s last book Bumble-Ardy, full of chaotic drawings of mischievous pigs, is a favorite of 19-month-old son’s. May Sendak’s bountiful […]

May 4, 2012

RIP MCA 0

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Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch AKA MCA has died at 47, due to cancer. Pitchfork has more.

April 3, 2012

Harry Crews and the Death of Southern Literature 11

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When we look past the haggard face and the thrilling biography full of fights and fornication, Harry Crews’ fictional world is closer to Kafka’s Eastern Europe than to today’s good ole boy.

February 26, 2012

Dmitri Nabokov Dies 2

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“Dmitri Nabokov, the son of Vladimir Nabokov, who tended to the legacy of his father with the posthumous publication of a volume of personal letters, an unpublished novella and an unfinished novel that his father had demanded be burned, died on Wednesday in Vevey, Switzerland. He was 77.” At MetaFilter, the son daughter of the […]

February 20, 2012

Remembering Anthony Shadid in Beirut 3

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The wind was blowing as morning broke over Beirut. In the kitchen, I poured a glass of milk for our daughter. Firing up the iPhone, there it was: New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid had died on assignment in Syria. He was 43 years old.

January 13, 2012

A Weed in My Flower Garden: Remembering George Whitman of Shakespeare and Company 2

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A friend was coming from Atlantic City. We needed another bed! Ignoring the line of waiting customers, George ordered me to climb out onto the dilapidated roof to retrieve a piece of rotting plywood, skewered with nails. I obliged, of course. Later, he brought me gluey pancakes, which I clandestinely flushed down the toilet.

December 16, 2011

Remembering Hitch 4

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It took a particularly potent kind of charisma to allow a person to engage in such concentrated namedropping, urinating all the while, and still manage to come across as utterly charming. Hitchens had that kind of charisma.

December 16, 2011

We’ll Miss Hitch 0

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Vanity Fair remembers Christopher Hitchens, a favorite of ours who was always fun to root for, and who, as you’ve no doubt heard by now, died last night. Andrew Sullivan remembers an email exchange from happier times. Hitchens’ ebook from this year, The Enemy, is in our Hall of Fame, and we reviewed his memoir, […]

September 14, 2011

Good-bye to e-Book Pioneer Michael Hart (and Thanks for Those 36,000+ Freebies) 3

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It was Michael Stern Hart of Project Gutenberg who popularized the Net as a book library. He died with more than 36,000 free Gutenberg books on the Web, in 60 languages, as his legacy.