The British author and travel writer recently passed away. His acclaimed books include Songlines, a semi-fictional account of the myths that structure the lives of Australia's aborigines, and the travel book In Patagonia.
Mitford died of cancer at the age of 78 on Tuesday (July 23). She was considered one of the premiere investigative journalists of her day, a muckraker in the tradition of Sinclair Lewis and John Dos Passos. Her targets included the Famous Writers School, a Midwest correspondence school, and the U.S. penal system ("Kind and Usual Punishment: The Prison Business"). Mitford's most recent book, "The American Way of Birth" (1992), declares that doctors perform too many C-Sections and de-legitimize midwifery.
Writer Brendan Gill died Saturday at the age of 83. We'll remember him with a excerpt from a November 1987 interview. He's best known for his work with The New Yorker magazine, for which he was hired in 1936. He wrote 15 books including biographies of Charles Lindberg, Cole Porter, and Tallulah Bankhead, and his best-seller "Here at the New Yorker." He was also an active campaigner for historic preservation in New York City. (REBROADCAST from 11/12/1987)
Writer Andre Dubus died this week. Dubus' short stories earned him numerous awards, including a MacArthur award, a Rea Award, and a Bernard Malamud Award from the writers group, PEN. An accident in 1986 left Dubus wheelchair bound, he later said his condition helped him get rid of his fears, it also made its way into his writing. Dubus short stories gained wide attention in the years following the accident. (REBROADCAST from 6/25/91)
The writer Paul Bowles died today in Tangiers, Morocco, his home for 50 years. He was 88 and died of cardiac arrest. His most famous novel "The Sheltering Sky" was selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the century. We remember him with an excerpt of his 1993 interview. (REBROADCAST from 6/15/93).
Charles Schulz, the creator of the cartoon strip "Peanuts" died Saturday night. He was 77 years old and had recently been diagnosed with colon cancer. He died the night before his final cartoon ran In the Sunday papers. We remember him with an excerpt of our 1990 Interview With him. (REBROADCAST from 12/18/90)
Macabre cartoonist and illustrator Edward Gorey died on Saturday at the age of 75 of a heart attack. His illustrations are the opening credits of the PBS show "Mystery." He wrote over 100 books including “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” an alphabet book which began “A is for Amy who fell down the stairs.” One of his other books “The Doubtful Guest” was a classic, about a creature who shows up uninvited at a dreary mansion and becomes a member of the family. Toward the end of his life, GOREY lived in a 200 year old house in Cape Cod, with his five or six cats. (REBROADCAST from 4/2/92)
We listen to rebroadcast of a 1995 interview with William Maxwell. Maxwell was fiction editor of the New Yorker from 1936-1976 and worked with such authors as J.D. Salinger, John Cheever, John Updike, Eudora Welty and scores of others. Maxwell was the author of a number of novels, including "Time Will Darken It," and "So Long, See You Tomorrow," as well as several short story collections.