Best-selling novelist Jackie Collins, who died September 19 at age 77, lived in a Beverly Hills mansion and frequented Hollywood’s toniest hot spots, collecting dish for her sex- and scandal-filled chronicles of Tinseltown’s rich and famous, notably Hollywood Wives.
As a writer of steamy, salacious fiction about the rich and famous, Jackie Collins might have been a bigger star than her big sister Joan, the scheming Alex Carrington in the 1980s prime-time soap opera Dynasty. Jackie, who passed away Sept. 19 at age 77 in Los Angeles, churned out more than three dozen books — from Hollywood Wives and Rock Star to The Power Trip. Scantily clad beauties and shirtless male hunks on the covers gave a pretty good indication of what took place on the pages inside, perfect reading for the beach or monotonous travels.
His voice was deep; his soul was too. His humor made you rock with laughter; his insight rocked your world. I never got to squeeze Al Martinez’s hand or give him a hug, though I often wanted to. We lived six hours apart, but when we talked by phone, Al, who died Jan. 12, was in my living room, sitting next to my desk.
The game he loves has honored the man many say is its finest chronicler. On July 26, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., presented the J.G. Taylor Spink Award to Roger Angell, for 50 years of writing about the national pastime. In The New Yorker magazine and in a number of books, Angell shared his passion for a sport he calls " the hardest game to play."
In 1969, at the age of 41, Maya Angelou, who died on May 28 at age 86 in Winston-Salem, N.C., published I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It was a memoir of her childhood and adolescent odyssey from Arkansas to California, during which she survived a cascade of traumatic events, including being raped by her mother's boyfriend at age seven and overcoming prejudice to become, at age 16, San Francisco's first black streetcar conductor.
Syd Field was one of the most famous names in Hollywood screenwriting - even though, by his own account, the only movie script of his ever produced was an obscure Argentine film, Los Banditos. "I never saw the film," he once explained. "But it was a pretty good script, as I remember."
Short story fans and Canadians are among the many reveling in today's announcement that master writer Alice Munro, at 82, has won the Nobel Prize in Literature - the first Canadian-based writer to do so. Her publisher reports that she was "amazed, and very grateful" to hear the news early this morning, which was left as a voicemail when the committee couldn't reach her directly. How nice must it have been to get that message?
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