Authors RIP

In reading the Winter 2017 issue of Authors Guild Bulletin, I reached the end and the In Memoriam column. I'd like to note some of these authors who provided much reading pleasure for me beginning in childhood and carrying into adulthood.

Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, passed at the age of 96.

Natalie Babbit, author of Tuck Everlasting and other popular children's novels, passed at age 84.

E. R. Braithwaite, born in Guyana and Oxford-educated, passed at the age of 104. He was the author of the memoir To Sir, With Love. When I was a young teen, that movie starring Sidney Poitier with the theme song sung by Lulu, was powerful. I canstill sing every word of the song. I didn't know it was the memoir of an amazing and accomplished man until I was an adult.

Lois Duncan, now called a pioneer in teen suspense, was the author of more than 50 books for children and young adults. She was "discovered" by more than readers when her novel I Know What You Did Last Summer hit the big screen. She was 82.

Carrie Fisher. Yes, everyone in the world knows this actress most famous for her Star Wars role. I remember her though for the novels she wrote. Novels? Well, most were thinly-disguised memoirs. My favorite was Postcards from the Edge and Surrender the Pink. She wrote screen plays and also served as a script doctor on many movies. She was only 60.

W. P. Kinsella, the author of Shoeless Joe, one of my favorite books ever which was the basis for Field of Dreams, one of my favorite movies, passed at the age of 81.

Elie Wiesel, died at the age or 87 at his home in Manhattan. In addition to being a lifelong activist and lecturer on the Holocaust, he was the author of 60 books and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. His books were based on his experiences in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. To me, Mr. Wiesel was a hero who had the courage to talk about the worst time of his life. He always spoke out against crimes against humanity.

Remember The Lessons of History

When I was a child, we had neighbors who had survived the death camps. I remember the first time I saw the numbers tattooed on Mr. Keller's arm. I grew older and heard their stories along with the story told by one of my mother's friends who was Belgian and whose parents tried to flee when the Germans rolled in.

I guess knowing these people who shared their memories sparked the interest I've always had for the history of WWII, a war in which my dad fought but who hated to talk about it. I've always believed history should never be whitewashed and markers obliterated. The only good that can come of horrible events is to learn from them and vow that they will never be repeated.

Takeaway Truth

Perhaps you notice something these authors have in common, with the exception of Ms. Fisher. They were all long-lived. For some reason, authors seem to live longer than the norm.

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