Donald Westlake is dead. This prolific novelist wrote more than 100 books and several screenplays under many names, creating one of the most memorable comic caper series and hard violent fiction under his psuedonym, Richard Stark. John Banville called Stark and Georges Simenon "two of the greatest writers of the 20th century."
John Leonard is dead. A literary prodigy at thirty-two when asked to edit the New York Times Book Review, Leonard oversaw the NYTBR's glory days between 1971 and 1975. Television critic for New York, monthly books critic for Harper's, regular contributor to The Nation and The New York Review of Books, he also went out of his way to help young writers.
The man behind Woman in the Dunes has passed away. Filmmaker Hiroshi Teshigahara died on Saturday with nary a press announcement. I haven't been this pissed off about a media blackout since Sam Fuller passed on (or, to some extent, the recent death of Joey Ramone). Is the only way for an obscure artist to gain that long-neglected recognition for their works to kick the bucket? It would seem that, even then, there are no guarantees.