Good Morning Fellow Readers. I hope all of you who celebrate, had a wonderful Christmas yesterday. This morning, one of my book news subscription services (Off The Shelf) sent an email with a list of Authors we lost in 2016. After the news of George Michael’s passing yesterday who’s music I loved growing up, I felt inclined to share this email with you. Not to make you feel sad, but just to remember some amazing authors and draw your attention to some of their work if you hadn’t been aware of them before. I also added some more information and some comments I have on a few of them below. I hope George Michael and the authors listed below are remembered for many, many years for their wonderful work in the literary industry and in George Michaels case the music industry.
In Memoriam: 12 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2016
In 2016, we said good-bye to many literary luminaries. These authors have inspired us, challenged us to think deeply, and opened windows into the lives and struggles of others. Here we remember some of the award winners, trailblazers, and creators of beloved classics whose works will stand the test of time.
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2hh2BlK
The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco’s watershed first novel has been translated into 30 languages and sold more than 10 million copies. Franciscans in an Italian abbey in 1327 are suspected of heresy, so Brother William arrives to investigate. When 7 bizarre deaths occur, he collects evidence, deciphers coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey.
Umberto Eco passed away February 19, 2016 at his home in Milan, Italy after battling pancreatic cancer for two years. He was 84 years old.
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2hhbEmQ
Katherine Dunn’s third novel, GEEK LOVE, was a National Book Award finalist that sold hundreds of thousands of copies. This wild novel centers on carnies Al and Crystal Lil, who use drugs to mutate their unborn children to breed their own carnival freak-show act. As they take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., their experiences shed light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly.
Katherine Dunn passed away May 11, 2016 due to complications from lung cancer. She was 71 years old.
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2ixfNEn
The Prince of Tides
Two of Pat Conroy’s novel were made into Oscar nominated films! The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini.
Pat Conroy’s classic novel THE PRINCE OF TIDES stings with honesty and resounds with drama. Spanning 40 years, it’s the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister, Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were born.
Pat Conroy passed away March 4, 2016 presumably from his battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 70 years old.
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2i0mlye
The Women of Brewster Place
This novel was turned into a miniseries starring Oprah Winfrey and Robin Givens!!
Gloria Naylor’s debut novel, which won the American Book Award and the National Book Award for first novel, tells the overlapping stories of 7 women living in Brewster Place, a bleak inner-city sanctuary. THE WOMEN OF BREWSTER PLACE is a powerful, moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women in America.
Gloria Naylor passed away from a heart attack September 28, 2016 while visiting St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. She was 66 years old.
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2iwhxlk
Llama Llama Red Pajama
The Llama Llama series is being made into a children’s series that will be released on Netflix. Anna’s books were also made into stage plays, dance performances and musicals.
LLAMA LLAMA RED PAJAMA, which launched Anna Dewdney’s 10-book Llama Llama series, is a beloved rhyming picture book about a spirited toddler-esque llama’s struggle to go to sleep at bedtime.
Anna Dewdney passed away in Vermont at the age of 50 from brain cancer.
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2i8gqoy
James Alan McPherson became the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his short-story collection, ELBOW ROOM. With stories that pierce through the self-deception of a failed preacher, challenge the audacity of a killer, and explode the jealousy of two lovers, this collection of honest, masterful fiction is an array of haunting images and memorable characters.
James Alan McPherson passed away due to complications from pneumonia July 27, 2016 in Iowa. He was 72 years old.
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2i8aL1V
Legends of the Fall
I know you all remember Brad Pitt in the movie that was created from the short story Legends Of The Fall!
Jim Harrison was a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and a nature and food writer, but is perhaps best known for this collection of 3 novellas. The titular novella, LEGENDS OF THE FALL, is an epic, moving tale of 3 brothers fighting for justice from the raw landscape of early 20th-century Montana to the blood-drenched European battlefields of World War I.
Jim Harrison passed away March 26, 2016 of a heart attack. He was 78 years old.
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2ixrPNT
Two of Natalie Babbitt’s novels were made into movies. Tuck Everlasting (twice) and The Eyes of the Amaryllis.
Many of us remember Natalie Babbitt’s books fondly from our childhoods, especially TUCK EVERLASTING, which tells the story of 11-year-old Winnie, who meets the Tucks, a family who has become immortal by drinking water from an enchanted spring. When the secret spring is threatened with exposure, Winnie must grapple with the true meaning of life and death.
Natalie Babbitt passed away in her home in Connecticut after recently being diagnosed with lung cancer. She was 84 years old.
Purchase Link for both: http://amzn.to/2ixkm15
To Kill a Mockingbird & Go Set A Watchman
Love or hate the “sequel”, Go Set A Watchman sold a ton of copies simply because the love of Harper Lee’s classic story To Kill A Mockingbird. There was lots of controversy surrounding the release of Lee’s follow up novel which made it all the more intriguing to the literary community. It was later confirmed that Go Set A Watchman was actually the first draft of To Kill A Mockingbird and not actually a sequel.
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize.
Harper Lee passed away peacefully in her sleep February 19, 2016. She was 89 years old.
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2iwsnI3
This is one of the most heartbreaking novels I have ever read. The depiction of the Nazi Death Camps and the fact that this story is a true account makes it even harder to read, yet makes it an important story that needs to be told.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel has written several dozen moving and powerful books. Arguably his masterpiece, NIGHT is a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. It eloquently addresses philosophical as well as personal questions about the Holocaust.
Elie Wiesel passed away in his home on July 2, 2016 at the age of 87.
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2hhiSHo
The Story of Lucy Gault
William Trevor was a master fiction writer, equally lauded for his novels and short-story collections. We especially recommend this moving novel about guilt, love, and forgiveness. When violence forces her family to prepare to leave 1920s Ireland, young Lucy runs away, setting off a series of events that will affect all of the town’s inhabitants.
William Trevor passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in England on November 21, 2016. He was 88 years old.
Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/2i0a9xc
I Know What You Did Last Summer
I don’t know about you, but the movie I Know What You Did Last Summer was a movie that came out during my high school years. I remember seeing it multiple times in the theater with my friends and being scared each time I saw it. Shockingly, I had NO IDEA that this was a book until today! Now I want to go back and read it. Ha!
Lois Duncan started writing and submitting her work at age 10! She sold her first story at the age of 13. Incredible!
Lois Duncan is widely regarded as the master of teen suspense. This novel, which became a successful film franchise, centers on four teens who make a terrible mistake and decide to cover it up. A year later they receive the titular message and must outsmart a killer…or they will be the next to die.
Lois passed away June 15, 2016 at the age of 82 in her Florida home.
Sorry for the downer post, but I truly believe it is important to remember these amazing writers and memorialize them. I learned so many things reading each of their biographies on Wikipedia!