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Blog posts tagged with 'in memoriam'

The Poetry of Place
CRB153In celebration of National Poetry Month, we're reading some of our favorite poets of place, including the renowned poet of the Caribbean, Derek Walcott, who passed away in March.   Collected Poems, 1948-1984. The St. Lucia-born Nobel laureate, who's been known to say he's "just an island boy," writes boggling, complicated, richly rhythmical poems -- which do, in fact, owe much to the oral traditions of Walcott's boyhood (but also to Homer, Aime Cesaire, Frantz Fanon and "The Wasteland"). Derek Walcott won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. The Portable Romantics.
In Memoriam: Harper Lee & Umberto Eco
The world lost two great authors on February 19, both of whose works evoked the spirit of place, even when the places were fictional, from Harper Lee’s small town in Alabama to Umberto Eco’s complex imagined world of Milan. “The town is not a real town. The characters aren’t drawn from living or dead people. The book is a record of the general spirit of something,” Harper Lee said in a rare interview in 1961. “This was life in the 30s. This is the way it was with children in the South.” Maycomb, Alabama, where Lee’s classic is set, may be fictional, but
In Memoriam: Henning Mankell
Fans of Scandinavian noir are mourning the death of Henning Mankell, the author The New York Times has crowned “the dean” of the increasingly popular genre. Mankell penned the well-loved Kurt Wallander series, starring the eponymous detective and his uncanny ability to solve crimes, most of them brutal, and many occurring in and around the real-life town of Ystad, located on the Baltic Sea south of Stockholm. The town has become a literary pilgrimage site for many noir readers.
In Memoriam: James Salter
“Travel writing is something you do for the money, not a lot of money, but the working conditions can be pleasant,” reads the verbose subtitle of James Salter’s There and Then, a collection of sketches and essays that cover 20 years of the novelist's peripatetic life, particularly his extended time hiking and skiing in the Alps of Switzerland, Austria and France. Whatever his motivations, Salter’s travel writing, which stretched across genres, reveals a man with a passion for place and an acute sensitivity to the details that transport a reader there.
In Memoriam: Nadine Gordimer
Africa has lost yet another of its unique literary voices. Nobel Prize-winning novelist Nadine Gordimer passed away in Johannesburg on July 13, leaving behind over two dozen works of fiction as well as personal and critical essays. Many of Gordimer’s ambitious novels led her deep into the heart of South Africa’s conflict over apartheid. The Conservationist, Gordimer's subtle Booker Prize-winning novel, portrays a wealthy South African industrialist who struggles to preserve his way of life, his power and his possessions in the face of massive injustice. 
In Memoriam: Maya Angelou
We join an international community of readers mourning the death of Maya Angelou, the poet and memoirist who taught us that caged birds sing and that all God’s children need their traveling shoes. Angelou, who passed away May 28, is best known for her work I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, a lyrical memoir that poignantly describes her childhood in the Jim Crow South. Angelou’s autobiographical All God’s Children Need Their Traveling Shoes is a Longitude favorite for its depiction of her experience living in Ghana in the 1960s after independence and during an optimistic time with Kwame Nkrumah as president.
In Memoriam: Farley Mowat
Lovers of the Canadian Arctic are mourning the death of Farley Mowat, the bearded, often kilted, Canadian writer whose 45 publications served as the voice for Inuit tribes and native animals of the Canadian north.
In Memoriam: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel laureate whose novels, stories and reports introduced readers around the world to the passion, charm, corruption and enduring essence of Colombia, passed away on April 17 at 87. The master of magic realism—the literary technique that blends the real and fantastic until the distinction between the two fades—captured the spirit, setting and atmosphere of Latin America—even when the places he described never existed.
In Memoriam: Peter Matthiessen
In the opening pages of The Snow Leopard, as he takes his first steps on a pilgrimage in the Himalayas in the wake of his wife’s death, Peter Matthiessen passes an aged man being carried by four servants on his last pilgrimage to the Ganges. “I nod to Death in passing,” Matthiessen writes, “aware of the sound of my own feet upon my path.”
Nelson Mandela
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination,” he told the court. “I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realized. But my lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” The world lost a well-traveled soul at the end of last year. Nelson Mandela, who we are commemorating as we move into 2014, passed away on December 5, 2013. Though imprisoned on Robben Island for close to three decades, Mandela traveled further in his 95 years than many of us who have always known the freedoms he fought for ever will.