Jim Carroll has died. Avant-garde writer, punk rocker, doped-up downtown scenester, never-made-it schoolyard hoop-dreamer. He couldn't have expected to live to see a master's thesis in English at San Diego State written about his journal/novel The Basketball Diaries, or to be interviewed by Jon Stewart about being played by Leo DiCaprio in the movie of his (early) life. [more inside]
"A fedora hat worn by me without the necessary protective irony would eat through my head and kill me." Goodbye to George W.S. Trow, one of the strangest, wisest, disturbingest writer ever to gape at, marvel at, and love his fellow Americans. His 1980 essay "Within the Context of No Context" (which shared with J.D. Salinger's last published story the distinction of taking up an entire issue of the New Yorker) placed television, irony, and distance at the center of the new United States. He also wrote the less well-known (but equally beautiful) short story collection Bullies, along with a novel and several screenplays, helped found National Lampoon, and was a staff writer at the New Yorker from 1966 until 1994, when he quit in protest of Roseanne Barr's guest-editing stint. He died on November 24, in Naples, at the age of 63. Appreciations from the New York Observer, Slate, and Gawker.