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John Leonard Has Died

51FPER2PMML._SL500_AA240_.jpg“The whiplash lyricism: widows and raisins, mugwort and periwinkle, pine sap and cornhusk dolls, ‘the horror of color, the roar of soundlessness and the menace of familiar objects lying still.’ Somehow all add up to a sensuous omniscience that is practically Elizabethan.”

That’s critic and author John Leonard describing Toni Morrison’s new novel this month–one of the gorgeous, unexpected lines that Leonard created in every essay.

Leonard died today at 69. In his long tenure as a critic, Leonard worked as a television reviewer for New York magazine, literary editor at The Nation, a books writer for Harper’s. His most recent book was Lonesome Rangers: Homeless Minds, Promised Lands, Fugitive Cultures–a collection of essays.

Read more at Gawker.

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