Remembering…

Two literary giants  passed away this week.  To see their complete San Diego County Library holdings, click on their names below.   And a final quote from Gore Vidal:  “Because there is no cosmic point to the life that each of us perceives on this distant bit of dust at galaxy’s edge,” he once wrote, “all the more reason for us to maintain in proper balance what we have here.  Because there is nothing else. This is it.  And quite enough, all in all.”

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Gore Vidal

Vidal died at his home in the Hollywood Hills on  July 31 of complications from pneumonia; he was 86.  The New York Times called Vidal “the elegant, acerbic all-around man of letters who presided with a certain relish over what he declared to be the end of American civilization… He published  25 novels, two memoirs and several volumes of stylish, magisterial essays. He also wrote plays, television dramas and screenplays. For a while he was even a contract writer at MGM. And he could always be counted on for a spur-of-the-moment aphorism, putdown or sharply worded critique of American foreign policy.” He also ran for public office twice, appeared on talk shows regularly and famously feuded with William F. Buckley, Jr., Norman Mailer, Truman Capote and others.    

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Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy, who was one of the most popular and critically acclaimed authors in contemporary Irish literature, selling more than 40 million books, died July 30,  at a Dublin hospital after a brief illness, according to Irish media. She was 72.  “We have lost a national treasure,” said Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.  A former teacher and journalist, Binchy didn’t publish her first novel until 1982, the year she turned 42.  When it became a commercial success, the author compared it to winning the lottery.  It was the first of many best-sellers by Binchy, who joked that she could write as fast as she could talk. Although her novels were marketed as romances, many reviewers said her realistic and complicated approach to storytelling made them transcend the category.

Her 18th novel, “A Week in Winter,” is scheduled to be published later this year.              

Courtesy of  Los Angeles Times, The New York Times,  & Huffington Post

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