News & Notes – 3/27/2021

March 27, 2021 News & Notes 4

News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff

Literary Losses

Norton Juster, author of The Phantom Tollbooth, died March 8 at the age of 91. Juster, an architect, began the classic children’s novel while procrastinating on a nonfiction book; he continued it as a collaboration with his downstairs neighbor, the cartoonist and illustrator Jules Feiffer. Juster wrote several other books, taught at Hampshire College for over 20 years, and designed many of the college’s buildings, but he will be best and most lovingly remembered as the creator of Milo, the dog Tock, andthe zany, wordplay-filled world of The Phantom Tollbooth.

Obituaries and tributes: The GuardianNew York Times; NPR. Bibliography and Biography: Goodreads; Wikipedia

Beverly Cleary, author of the Ramona Quimby books, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and a slew of other childhood classics, died March 25 at the age of 104. If you are my age or younger, you undoubtedly read at least one of Cleary’s books in your childhood — possibly Dear Mr. Henshaw, which won the Newbery Medal in 1984. (My personal favorite was The Mouse and the Motorcycle, one of the few of Cleary’s books that wasn’t firmly rooted in reality…but then, I was always more interested in fantasy, the past, or the future than in the present.) Cleary’s books were a classroom and school-library staple when I was in elementary school, and remained so well into my own child’s elementary school years. She was a delightful woman, who for nearly 30 years read and answered her fan mail herself, and never forgot the real-life children for whom she wrote. The world of children’s literature would not have been, and will not be, the same without her.

Obituaries and tributes: Los Angeles Times; New York Times; NPR. Bibliography and Biography: author’s website; Goodreads; Wikipedia

Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lonesome Dove, died March 25 at the age of 84. McMurtry was a prolific and bestselling author; several of his books, including Terms of Endearment and The Last Picture Show, became movies. He won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, based on a short story by Annie Proulx. In 2015, President Obama presented McMurtry with a National Humanities Medal for his work. A collector of rare books, for many years he also owned and ran a used/rare bookstore in his home state, Texas. McMurtry also served as president of PEN America from 1989 to 1991.

Obituaries and tributes: The GuardianNew York Times; NPR. Bibliography and Biography: Goodreads; Wikipedia

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4 Responses to “News & Notes – 3/27/2021”

  1. Katherine

    We lost so many great authors this month. I read some Beverly Cleary but not much because I went into mysteries pretty quickly but I always enjoyed her books and she always seemed absolutely delightful. Wow those covers are just astonishingly bad and are clearly designed and chosen by people who were completely unfamiliar with the books.

  2. Anne - Books of My Heart

    Stacey Abrams also writes romance as Selena Montgomery. I have read a bunch of Beverly Cleary books. I have the Mouse and the Motorcycle in hardcover from my childhood. I was fortunate my parents let me buy any books I wanted anytime. Of course, we didn’t have the access we do now. I was also a huge library user.
    Anne – Books of My Heart recently posted…Somebody to Love by Sharon SalaMy Profile