Posts Tagged: obituaries

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #62: Julian Tepper

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Upon publication of his first novel, Balls, author Julian Tepper received pointed advice from one Philip Roth: quit. What the elder statesman, on the verge of his own retirement, was trying to say is that the writing life is “just torture,” and he should spare himself the suffering. But instead of heeding that advice, Tepper […]

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Lost Words For A Spruce Tree

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Over at The Hairpin, Isabelle Fraser interviews Ann Wroe, obituary writer for The Economist. Wroe has written obituaries for J.D. Salinger, Aaron Swartz, and the 25-year old carp that was “England’s best-loved fish”. On Marie Smith, the last person to speak Eyak, an Alaskan language, she relates: “She was the only person left who remembered all the different […]

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Writing “the very stuff of life”

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Today in unusual writing jobs: an inside look at what it’s like to be an obituary news writer for the New York Times. Each day, it is our job to come to know such strangers intimately, inhaling their lives through telephone calls to their families, through newspaper and magazine profiles culled from electronic databases and […]

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Mr. Bad News Who?

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It can be a harrowing experience, Whitman knows, requiring that the writer become an instant historian, assessing in a few hours the dead man’s life with lucidity, accuracy, and objectivity. Gay Talese believes “Mr. Bad News” is one of the best pieces he ever wrote. Talese wrote the profile on  New York Times obituary writer Alden Whitman […]

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