Wednesday, January 24, 2018

dry January? more like DIE January

Another day, another gratifyingly early fulfilment of a New Year's resolution, this one being to really step up the brutal and relentless culling of authors who have previously featured on this blog. It's still January and we've already clocked up one, that one being sci-fi/fantasy author Ursula Le Guin, whose book The Dispossessed featured here just over two years ago and who died yesterday aged 88. That's actually fairly quick work by the usual standards of the Curse of Electric Halibut - only Dibdin, Hoban, Matheson and Salter were knocked off more quickly.

I also need to fill in a missing entry from 2017, since JP Donleavy died on 11th September and I seem to have missed it. Unless I've missed anyone else (which is quite possible) that takes the current count to nineteen.

As it happens January 22nd isn't the earliest start to a year of authorial slaughter; 2017 started as early as January 2nd with the demise of John Berger. The belated inclusion of Donleavy means that 2017 is now the joint-deadliest year on record with four deaths, a record it shares with 2013.

Author Date of first book Date of death Age Curse length
Michael Dibdin 31st January 2007 30th March 2007 60 0y 59d
Beryl Bainbridge 14th May 2008 2nd July 2010 77 2y 50d
Russell Hoban 23rd August 2010 13th December 2011 86 1y 113d
Richard Matheson 7th September 2011 23rd June 2013 87 1y 291d
Elmore Leonard April 16th 2009 20th August 2013 87 4y 128d
Iain Banks 6th November 2006 9th June 2013 59 6y 218d
Doris Lessing 8th May 2007 17th November 2013 94 6y 196d
Gabriel García Márquez 10th July 2007 17th April 2014 87 6y 284d
Ruth Rendell 23rd December 2009 2nd May 2015 85 5y 132d
James Salter 4th February 2014 19th June 2015 90 1y 136d
Henning Mankell 6th May 2013 5th October 2015 67 2y 152d
Umberto Eco 30th June 2012 19th February 2016 84 3y 234d
Anita Brookner 15th July 2011 10th March 2016 87 4y 240d
William Trevor 29th May 2010 20th November 2016 88 6y 177d
John Berger 10th November 2009 2nd January 2017 90 7y 55d
Nicholas Mosley 24th September 2011 28th February 2017 93 5y 159d
Helen Dunmore 10th March 2008 5th June 2017 64 9y 89d
JP Donleavy 21st May 2015 11th September 2017 91 2y 114d
Ursula Le Guin 6th December 2015 22nd January 2018 88 2y 49d

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