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Obituaries

Ray Manzarek Has Died

The Doors co-founder and author Ray Manzarek has passed away. He was 74 years old.

We’ve created a Spotify playlist below, linking to his music, interviews and work with poets. The rock keyboardist wrote a few books, including The Poet in Exile: A Novel and his Light My Fire memoir. You can read Entertainment Weekly had this obituary for the rock star:

As a member of the legendary rock band that formed in 1965 in Los Angeles and effectively ended with the death of frontman Jim Morrison in 1971 … [he] wrote a best-selling memoir about his experiences, Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors, in 1998. The Doors sold more than 100 million albums worldwide on the strength of hits like ”Hello, I Love You,” “Riders on the Storm,” “Light My Fire,” and “Break On Through to the Other Side.”

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Publisher Louis Strick Has Died

The literary publisher and calligraphy expert Louis Strick has passed away. He was 87 years old, leaving behind a lifetime of books, art and writing scholarship.

Westport Now published an obituary about his long and varied career. Here is an excerpt:

In the late 1960s Strick began importing calligraphic art supplies, distributed through his Pentalic Company. By making special nibs, pens and instruction books widely available, Strick spearheaded a revival of the calligraphic movement in America;. He also established the Calligraphy Workshop, a school on lower Fifth Avenue. In the late 1970s, Strick purchased the Taplinger Publishing Company, bringing out works of literary fiction as well as volumes on modern art, reflecting two of his passions.

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E.L. Konigsburg Has Died

Author E.L. Konigsburg has passed away. She wrote the beloved kid’s book, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Her bookshelf also included A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver and The View From Saturday. In an interview, she once said “You have to experience kindness in order to be kind,” explaining why she believed in practicing random acts of kindness. She also outlined her writing career:

I was the first one in my family to go away to college. I came from a small town where there was no guidance in the high school at all. It was a mill town, and I never knew anyone who made their living from the arts. When you did go away to college, you went away to be something – an engineer, or a teacher, or a chemist. I never knew anyone who went away to be an artist until I was in college. When I was in college at Carnegie Mellon, I wanted to be a chemist. So I became one. I worked in a laboratory and went to graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. Then I taught science at a private girls school. I had three children and waited until all three were in school before I started writing. When my third child went away to school, I started to write in the mornings. I’ve already mentioned that I want to write something that reflects their growing up, because when I was growing up the books I read never reflected me.

A.S.A. Harrison Has Died

Author A.S.A. Harrison has passed away.

Her debut novel, The Silent Wife, will be released in July. She also published Orgasms with Coach House Press, Revelations (co-written with Margaret Dragu) with Nightwood Editions and Zodicat Speaks with Viking Penguin.

Penguin shared a brief tribute: “We are deeply saddened over the loss of a great woman and a very gifted writer.” (Author photo via)

Peter Workman Has Died

Workman Publishing Company founder Peter Workman has passed away. He was 74 years old.

He founded the nonfiction trade and calendar publisher in 1967. The company also includes Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Artisan, Storey Books, Timber Press and HighBridge Audio. Here’s more from Workman Publishing:

After a stint in the sales department of Dell Publishing, he founded Workman Publishing Company as a book packager in 1967, and within two years published its inaugural list leading with Richard Hittleman’s Yoga 28-Day Exercise Plan, a title that is still in print. His vision and drive grew Workman into a wholly unique and fiercely independent book publisher. Among its iconic bestsellers are B. Kliban’s Cat, The Official Preppy Handbook, The Silver Palate Cookbook, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Brain Quest, Sandra Boynton’s children’s books, and 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. Also a trendsetter in the calendar business, Workman invented the groundbreaking boxed Page-A-Day Calendar.

Roger Ebert Has Died

The great film critic and author Roger Ebert has died.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported the sad news. You can find all of Ebert’s books at this link. Here’s an excerpt from the Sun-Times obituary:

Ebert wrote more books than any TV personality since Steve Allen — 17 in all. Not only collections of reviews, both good and bad, and critiques of great movies, but humorous film term glossaries and even a novel, Behind the Phantom’s Mask, that was serialized in the Sun-Times. He even wrote a book about rice cookers, The Pot and How to Use It, despite the fact that he could no longer eat. In 2011 his autobiography, Life Itself won rave reviews. “This is the best thing Mr. Ebert has ever written,” Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times.

Chinua Achebe Has Died

The Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe has passed away. He was 82 years old.

Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart in 1958, his first novel and also his most well-known book. He also wrote Anthills of the SavannahArrow of God, and many other books. As a poet, he also released his Collected Poems. Exiled by civil war and politics, he spent many years teaching in the United States. Here is a quote Anthills of the Savannah to remember the great writer:

Storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control, they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human spirit — in state, in church or mosque, in party congress, in the university or wherever.

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Ronan ‘Little Seal’ Has Died

Ronan, a brave child who battled an incurable genetic disease, has passed away. His mother, Emily Rapp, wrote about her life with Ronan in the upcoming memoir, The Still Point of the Turning World.

Ronan was diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease when he was only nine months old. His mother captured their experiences as the family took this unimaginable journey together with Ronan, nicknamed “little seal.”  His family posted this note

Ronan passed away peacefully on Thursday, Feb. 15th at about 3:30 am in Santa Fe.  He was surrounded by friends and family. If you would like to make a donation in Ronan’s memory, please do so at the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association, who have been a huge support to Emily and her family.

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Gail Lynn Frazer Has Died

Gail Lynn Frazer, a mystery author who wrote under the pseudonym Margaret Frazer, has passed away. She was 66 years old. Her son, Justin Alexander, revealed the sad news on her website.

Throughout her career, Frazer (pictured) wrote more than twenty books. The award-winning writer was nominated twice for the prestigious Edgar Award. A funeral has been planned for February 8th.

Here’s more from the announcement: “Twenty years ago, Frazer’s first novel – The Novice’s Tale – was published the same summer that she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. She published her twenty-fifth novel – The Circle of Witches – last December at a time when she was struggling with the fifth recurrence of the cancer. She fought long, she fought stubbornly, and she refused to be defined by the disease which ultimately claimed her life. In her work, she sought the unique pleasure of thoroughly exploring the otherwhen and otherwhere.” (via Mystery Fanfare)

Ed Koch Has Died

Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City, has passed away. He was 88 years old.

Throughout his lifetime, Koch wrote and co-authored several books including Mayor (1984), All the Best: Letters From a Feisty Mayor (1990) and Citizen Koch: An Autobiography (1992). According to CNN, a funeral has been planned for February 4th.

Here’s more from the article: “The lawyer-turned-public servant was a U.S. congressman from 1968 until he ran for mayor of the city in 1977. He served three terms until David Dinkins defeated him in a Democratic primary.”

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