Alan Cheuse, 1940-2015

Sad news. The writer Alan Cheuse died last Friday in Santa Cruz, CA. Cheuse was probably best known as NPR’s Book Critic, a role in which he excelled.

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The New York Times refers to him as a “late blooming writer” due to the fact that he published his first short story just ahead of his 40th birthday, though more and more I tend to think that type of distinction a curiosity than a measure of a writer’s quality. I had a soft spot for Cheuse thanks to his kind words about Memorable Days, which he listed among his best books of 2010 in an NPR spot. That was due more to his admiration of James Salter than my part, I’m sure, but I was pleased all the same that someone as discerning as Cheuse saw what I saw in the letters that make up the book. Visit this wonderful collection of media, everything from his book reviews to a short story to a number of podcasts, on his homepage. His death is a loss to readers and writers everywhere.

— John McIntyre

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