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Obituaries

Norman Bridwell Has Died

Clifford the Big Red Dog 40th Anniversary EditionNorman Bridwell, the author and illustrator behind the Clifford the Big Red Dog series, has died. He was 86-years-old.

According to the press release, Bridwell created the beloved crimson canine character Clifford back in 1963. His first manuscript was rejected by nine publishers before Scholastic acquired it.

Throughout Bridwell’s fifty-year career, he produced more than 150 titles for this popular children’s book series. Two Clifford titles will be released posthumously: Clifford Goes to Kindergarten (May 2015) and Clifford Celebrates Hanukkah (October 2015).

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Claudia Emerson Has Died

Claudia EmersonClaudia Emerson has died. She was 57-years-old.

According to The New York Times, Emerson (pictured, via) won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for a poetry collection entitled Late Wife. From 2008 to 2010, she served as the Poet Laureate of Virginia.

Altogether, Emerson has written six books of poetry; the sixth book will be published posthumously. Louisiana State University Press will release The Opposite House: Poems on March 4, 2015.

P.D. James Has Died

P.D. JamesP. D. James (full name Phyllis Dorothy James White) has died. She was 94-years-old.

James (pictured, via) became well-known for her crime novels. Throughout her career, she wrote and published almost two dozen books.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “Many critics and many of her peers have said that by virtue of the complexity of her plots, the psychological density of her characters and the moral context in which she viewed criminal violence, Ms. James even surpassed her classic models and elevated the literary status of the modern detective novel. She is often cited, in particular, for the cerebral depth and emotional sensibilities of Adam Dalgliesh, the introspective Scotland Yard detective and published poet who functions as the hero of virtually all of her novels.” (via BuzzFeed)

Leslie Feinberg Has Died

Leslie FeinbergLeslie Feinberg, an author and LGBT activist, has died. She was 65-years-old.

As a writer, Feinberg (pictured, via) became well-known for her novel Stone Butch Blues. Prior to her death, she had been working on features for a 20th anniversary edition of the book including a slideshow called “This Is What Solidarity Looks Like.”

Here’s more from The Advocate: “Her historical and theoretical writing has been widely anthologized and taught in the U.S. and international academic circles. Her impact on mass culture was primarily through her 1993 first novel, Stone Butch Blues, widely considered in and outside the U.S. as a groundbreaking work about the complexities of gender. Sold by the hundreds of thousands of copies and also passed from hand-to-hand inside prisons, the novel has been translated into Chinese, Dutch, German, Italian, Slovenian, Turkish, and Hebrew (with her earnings from that edition going to ASWAT Palestinian Gay Women).” (via CNN)

R.A. Montgomery Has Died

CYOAR.A. Montgomery, an author and the publisher who founded the Choose Your Own Adventure book series, has died. He was 78-years-old.

Before this popular series became a fixture in his life, Montgomery worked in journalism and education. In 1975, he launched his own company called Vermont Crossroads Press.

Here’s more from The Huffington Post: “When, in 1977, Ed Packard submitted his choose-your-own-adventure book for young readers, Sugarcane Island, Montgomery leapt at the chance to publish a book that incorporated role-playing principles. But he didn’t stop there — he launched a series then called The Adventures of You and went on to write the follow-up himself. When Montgomery went through a divorce and sold his stake in the press to his ex-wife, he took his series, renamed the Choose Your Own Adventure series, to Bantam.”

Carolyn Kizer Has Died

Carolyn KizerPoet Carolyn Kizer has died. She was 89-years-old.

Kizer (pictured, via) won the Pulitzer Prize in 1985 for her collection, Yin. Throughout her writing career, she published several volumes of poetry. Follow this link to read a few of Kizer’s poems.

Here’s more from The Los Angeles Times: “At 17 she published a poem in the New Yorker (her only poem to appear in that publication, as it turned out)…Throughout her career, she stood up for what she believed, persuading Lyndon Johnson to lift a travel ban against Chilean poet Pablo Neruda in 1970, and, 28 years later, resigning (along with her friend Maxine Kumin) as a chancellor of the American Academy of Poets to protest the organization’s lack of diversity.”

Zilpha Keatley Snyder Has Died

zil_homeWriter Zilpha Keatley Snyder has died. She was 87-years-old.

Snyder (pictured, via) won three Newbery Honors for The Egypt Game (1967), The Headless Cupid (1971), and The Witches of Worm (1972). Throughout her career, she penned more than 40 books for young children and teens.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “Most of Ms. Snyder’s books were intended for readers 9 to 13 and delved into subjects like witchcraft, murder and dysfunctional families. She mixed realism and the supernatural, and her stories often had endings that could be interpreted from either viewpoint. Her plots were tight, and her protagonists were often vital, thoughtful, courageous females.”

Literary Agent Loretta A. Barrett Has Died

Loretta Barrett BooksLoretta A. Barrett, a literary agent, has died. She was 74-years-old.

Throughout her publishing career, Barrett held editorial positions at Anchor Press and Doubleday. She launched her own literary agency in 1990. Some of the authors on the client list include romance novelist J.R. Ward, LGBT activist Chaz Bono, and artist Judy Chicago.

According to Publishers Lunch, Barrett “was personally responsible for an estimated 3 million new books being given to poor American children to keep as their own” through her work with Reading is Fundamental. She devoted 32 years of service to this organization.

Stan Goldberg Has Died

Stan GoldbergStan Goldberg has passed away. He was 82-years-old.

Goldberg (pictured, via) devoted six decades of his career to the comics industry. He has produced work for several high profile publishers including Marvel, DC Comics, and most famously, Archie Comics. In 2012, he was inducted into the National Cartoonists Society’s Hall of Fame.

Here’s more from Comic Book Resources: “Goldberg famously drew Archie’s portion of the 1994 crossover Archie Meets the Punisher. His final work for the publisher was released in 2010. However, he continued to freelance for other companies, notably producing an Archie parody for Bongo’s Simpsons Comics and Nancy Drew and Three Stooges graphic novels for Papercutz.”

Macmillan to Donate to the Kids’ Right to Read Project in Honor of the Late Nancy Garden

NCAC logoWriter Nancy Garden has died. She was 76-years-old.

The New York Times reports that Garden became most well-known for her 1982 young adult book entitled Annie On My Mind; it was one of the first to feature a lesbian relationship. Since its publication, “the novel has sold more than 100,000 copies and has never been out of print.”

To honor Garden’s memory, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group will make a donation of $2,500 to the National Coalition Against Censorship. According to the press release, these funds will directly support the Kids’ Right to Read Project which offers aid, education, and direct advocacy to people fighting book challenges or book bans in schools and libraries.

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