We lost lost many literary greats last year, including a Nobel Prize in Literature winner.
- Amanda Kyle Williams – American crime writer best known for her Keye Street series of novels.
- Amos Oz – Israeli writer, novelist, journalist, and intellectual.
- Anita Shreve – American author, magazine writer, and editor. Her novels included The Pilot’s Wife, and Body Surfing.
- Anya Krugovoy Silver – American poet. She won a Guggenheim fellowship, and a Georgia Author of the Year Award.
- Bobbie Louise Hawkins – American short story writer, monologist, and poet. She wrote more than twenty books of poetry and prose and she was member of the Beat movement.
- Clive King – English author best known for his children’s book, Stig of the Dump.
- Donald Hall – American poet, writer, editor, and literary critic. He was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States from 2006-2007
- Emily Nasrallah – Lebanese writer and women’s rights activist.
- Evelyn Anthony – British writer. She who wrote more than 50 novels, including The Tamarind Seed, which was turned into a hit film.
- Harlan Ellison – American author of more than 1 700 short stories, novellas, screenplays, teleplays, essays, and criticisms. He is the author of I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream.
- Jack Ketchum – American horror fiction author. He won four Bram Stoker Awards and his novels included Off Season, Red, and The Woman, which were adapted to film.
- Julius Lester – American writer of books for children and adults. He is the author of Day of Tears.
- Justin Cartwright – British novelist, originally from South Africa. He was the author of 13 novels, including In Every Face I Meet, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
- Larry Eisenberg – American science fiction writer. He is also known for the limericks he posted in the comments sections of various articles in The New York Times.
- Neil Simon – American playwright, screenwriter, television writer, and librettist. He was one of the most popular playwrights in the history of the American theatre.
- Ntozake Shange – American playwright and poet. She was best known for writing For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.
- Penny Vincenzi – British novelist, who wrote 17 bestselling novels and two collections of stories.
- Peter Mayle – British travel memoirist who wrote A Year in Provence. His books have been adapted for television and film.
- Philip Roth – Multiple award-winning American writer. He received a Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral.
- Richard Peck – American novelist, known for his young adult literature. He was awarded the Newbery Medal for A Year Down Yonder.
- Sam Hamill – American poet and the co-founder of Copper Canyon Press.
- Sergio Pitol – Mexican writer, translator, and diplomat. He received the Cervantes Prize in 2005.
- Tom Wolfe – American author and journalist. His books include The Bonfire of the Vanities, and A Man in Full.
- Tony Hoagland – American poet and writer. He was best known for his poetry collection, What Narcissism Means to Me.
- Ursula K. Le Guin – American fantasy author. Her novels included the series, The Earthsea Cycle, which begins with A Wizard of Earthsea, and The Left Hand of Darkness, which won the Hugo and Nebula awards.
- V.S. Naipaul – Trinidadian-British writer. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. His novels include A House For Mr Biswas and A Bend in the River. [Read: V.S. Naipaul’s 7 Rules For Beginner Writers]
- William Goldman – American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. His books include Marathon Man, and The Princess Bride, both of which Goldman adapted for film.
- Wilson Harris – Guyanese writer. He initially wrote poetry, but subsequently became a well-known novelist and essayist.
Other literary figures who died:
- Anthony Bourdain, American celebrity chef, author, travel documentarian, and television personality.
- Audrey Geisel, Dr. Seuss’s widow and steward of his legacy.
- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, American journalist, editor of the New York Times Book Review, critic, and novelist.
- Fred Bass, who transformed his father’s small used-book store, the Strand, into a mammoth Manhattan emporium.
- J. D. McClatchy, literary critic and poet.
- James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress for nearly three decades.
- Jin Yong, co-founder of the Hong Kong daily newspaper Ming Pao. He was Hong Kong’s most famous writer.
- Mary Midgley, British philosopher.
- Matthew Sweeney – Irish poet, whose “imagistic narratives” unfolded like miniature films.
- Price Cobbs, psychiatrist and management consultant who co-authored Black Rage, which portrays the psychological trauma that racism and the legacy of slavery inflicts on black people.
- Stan Lee, American comic book writer, editor, and publisher. Read 6 Superhero Writing Tips From Stan Lee
- Todd Bol, the Little Free Library founder.
- Walter Skold, The founder of the Dead Poets Society of America.
- William Reese, leading seller of rare books.
If you enjoyed this post, read:
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- 5 Reasons Why Writing A Memoir Is Like Writing A Short Film
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