Tuesday, June 3, 2008

George Garrett, 1929-2008

A number of years ago at a booksellers' convention, I was part of a large audience waiting to hear an author speak when I noticed a distinguished looking gentleman seated near me holding a book which I assumed he was in the middle of reading. However, it turned out to be the writer George Garrett, and his book was one that he had recently finished writing.

It seemed somehow appropriate that this extraordinary teacher and man of letters was sitting unnoticed among a crowd of booksellers waiting to hear someone else speak. Although he received tremendous acclaim over his long and varied writing career, Garrett, who died last week at the age of 78, never quite received the renown of such contemporaries as Walker Percy and Reynolds Price. On the other hand, while a few of his novels had some commercial success, it was not enough to make him well known to the reading public. However, as a writer and a professor -- mostly at the University of Virginia -- George Garrett had a career lasting almost 50 years that can only be described as distinguished and admirable. He is survived by his wife, three children, and many grateful readers and former students.

More about George Garrett can be found here.

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