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In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Evan S. Connell, 1924–2013

January 10, 2013 | by

We are sad to learn that Evan Connell has died. An early contributor to The Paris Review, Connell was and is a quiet hero of contemporary literature. His novels Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge have been cited as a crucial influence by writers as different as Lydia Davis, Jonathan Franzen, and Zadie Smith. In his history books—Son of the Morning Star (about General Custer) and Deus Lo Volt! (about the Crusades)—his poems, and his essays, he sang the glories of lost civilizations and unearthed the ruins at our feet. Connell delighted in tales of folly, of doomed experiments, but his own experiments bore fruits, plural, for no two are alike. We regret that Connell was unable to finish his Art of Fiction interview for the magazine; stay tuned in the next few days for selections from his work as it appeared in The Paris Review.

 

9 COMMENTS

8 Comments

  1. Adam | January 11, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I left Kansas City because of Mr. and Mrs. Bridge.

  2. Arion Press | January 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    In 2009, the Arion Press published a remarkable edition of Connell’s “Mrs. Bridge” with sixty-eight photographs by Laurie Simmons and an introductory essay by Mark Oppenheimer. More about the book and its author as well as a gallery of Simmons’ photographs at http://www.arionpress.com/catalog/085.htm

  3. Mark Zadrozny | January 11, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    There’s a Connell autobiographical essay in the Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series, volume 2.

  4. Evelyn Walsh | January 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Mr Bridge, Mrs Bridge– I have never recovered. Folly yes, but also compassion.

  5. Matt N. | January 13, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Great writer. So under-appreciated. Love the Bridge books, as well as SON OF THE MORNING STAR and AZTEC TREASURE HOUSE. Goodbye, Evan! You were a genius.

  6. Gisela Folding | January 19, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Only now, after reading his obituary in the L.A. Times, have I discovered Evan Connell. I went straight to the library and am reading his collected stories. How could I not have known his interesting and intelligent work earlier – his literary skill is breathtaking. I’m anxious to read the Mrs. and Mr. Bridge books next, the brilliant and varied short stories offer a beautiful, unforgettable introduction to Mr. Connell for me.

  7. Walter M Holmes | March 10, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Read recent obit in “Guardian” (March). I thought I knew most American authors but had never heard of Evan Connell although I was in Paris in 1957! I’ll try to catch up!

  8. Walter M Holmes | March 10, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Hope the above is of interest!

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  1. […] San Francisco State University. He lived briefly in Paris, where he began writing stories for the Paris Review, and published his first collection of short stories, The Anatomy Lesson (1957), to glowing […]

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