Notable Literary Deaths in 2022

An Incomplete List of the Writers, Editors, and Great Literary Minds We Lost This Year

To the members of the literary community we lost this year, we say a last thank you, and goodbye. You will be missed.

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F. Sionil José, “the grand old man of Philippine letters,” died on January 6 at the age of 97.

Terry Teachout, the drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, died on January 13 at the age of 65.

Ron Goulart, prolific science fiction, fantasy, mystery and romance novelist, died on January 14 at the age of 89.

Pioneering editor, journalist, and fashion icon André Leon Talley died on January 18 at the age of 73.

Children’s book illustrator and author Ashley Bryan, an early champion of diversity in children’s books, died on February 4 at the age of 98.

Longtime Random House editor Jason Epstein died on February 4 at the age of 93.

Bruce Duffy, author of The World as I Found It, died on February 10 at the age of 70.

Valerie Boyd, biographer of Zora Neale Hurston, died on February 12 at the age of 58.

Libertarian satirist P.J. O’Rourke died on February 15 at the age of 74.

Jan Pieńkowski, the illustrator and author of more than 140 children’s books, died on February 19 at the age of 85.

English children’s book author and illustrator Shirley Hughes died on February 25 at the age of 94.

Nelson W. Aldrich Jr., author of Old Money: The Mythology of Wealth in America, died on March 8 at the age of 86.

Maureen Howard, the author of Bridgeport Bus, died on March 13 at the age of 91.

Offbeat novelist and magazine editor Ted Mooney died on March 25 at the age of 70.

Children’s writer Patricia MacLachlan, author of Sarah, Plain and Tall, died on March 31 at the age of 84.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Howard died on March 31 at the age of 92.

Children’s book author and illustrator David McKee died on April 6 at the age of 87.

Henry Patterson, who wrote bestselling adventure novels under the pseudonym Jack Higgins, died on April 9 at the age of 92.

Espeth Barker, author of O, Caledonia, “one of the best least-known novels of the 20th century,” died on April 21 at the age of 81.

Playwright, novelist, and disability rights activist Susan Nussbaum died on April 28 at the age of 68.

Counterculture poet Peter Lamborn Wilson, who coined the phrase “temporary autonomous zone,” died on May 23 at the age of 76.

Major literary agent Morton L. Janklow died on May 25 at the age of 91.

Walter Abish, legendary experimental writer, died on May 28 at the age of 90.

Feminist scholar Dorothy E. Smith died on June 3 at the age of 95.

Barbadain novelist George Lamming died on June 4 at the age of 94.

Children’s book illustrator Ronni Solbert, best known for The Pushcart War, written by her partner Jean Merrill, died on June 9 at the age of 96.

America’s most famous cowboy poet, Baxter Black, died on June 10 at the age of 77.

Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua died on June 14 at the age of 85.

Australian author and essayist Frank Moorhouse died on June 26 at the age of 83.

Susie Steiner, the author of the Manon Bradshaw detective novels, died on July 2 at the age of 51.

Scottish writer Joan Lingard died on July 12 at the age of 90.

Bestselling thriller writer Stuart Woods died on July 22 at the age of 84.

Eli N. Evans, author of The Provincials, died on July 26 at the age of 85.

Melissa Bank, author of The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, died on August 2 at the age of 61.

Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning biographer and historian David McCullough died on August 7 at the age of 89.

Nicholas Evans, bestselling author of The Horse Whisperer, died on August 9 at the age of 72.

Children’s author Raymond Briggs, best known for The Snowman, died on August 9 at the age of 88.

Trailblazing Latina novelist Cecile Pineda, author of Face, died on August 11 at the age of 89.

French cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempé died on August 11 at the age of 89.

Presbyterian minister and prolific author Frederick Buechner died on August 15 at the age of 96.

Joseph Delaney, author of The Spook’s Apprentice, died on August 16 at the age of 77.

Somali poet Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame, better known as Hadraawi, died on August 18 at the age of 79.

Novelist and television script writer Michael Malone died on August 19 at the age of 80.

Barbara Ehrenreich, whose Nickled and Dimed should be required reading for all Americans, died on September 1 at the age of 81.

Feminist comics artist and editor Diane Noomin died on September 1 at the age of 75.

Longtime literary agent Sterling Lord, who sold Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, among many other books, died on September 3, his birthday, at the age of 102.

Peter Straub, literary horror titan, died on September 3 at the age of 79.

Decorated Spanish novelist Javier Marías died on September 11 at the age of 70.

Two-time Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel, author of the beloved Wolf Hall trilogy, died on September 22 at the age of 70.

Author and illustrator Jill Pinkwater, who illustrated her husband Daniel’s weird and wonderful books, died on October 4 at the age of 81.

Bestselling crime writer Peter Robinson died on October 4 at the age of 72.

Scholar and professional Shakespeare-disser Katherine Duncan-Jones died on October 16 at the age of 81.

Carmen Callil, who founded the feminist publishing house Virago, died on October 17 at the age of 83.

Thomas Cahill, author of How the Irish Saved Civilization, died on October 18 at the age of 82.

John Jay Osborn Jr., author of The Paper Chase, died on October 19 at the age of 77.

Mike Davis, bestselling author of City of Quartz, died on October 25 at the age of 76.

Food writer Julie Powell, whose blog about cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking became a movie starring Meryl Streep, died on October 26 at the age of 49.

Gael Greene, who spent four decades as New York magazine’s restaurant critic, died on November 1 at the age of 88.

Novelist and literary critic Doris Grumbach died on November 4 at the age of 104.

Dagny Corcoran, beloved art-book seller of the LA scene, died on November 9 at the age of 77.

Marcus Sedgwick, the author of more than 40 books for children and adults, died on November 15 at the age of 54.

Influential SF author and San Diego Comic-Con cofounder Greg Bear died on November 19 at the age of 71.

Marjane Meaker, whose 1952 novel Spring Fire “jump-started the genre of lesbian pulp fiction,” died on November 21 at the age of 95.

Poet, artist, and publisher Bernadette Mayer died on November 22 at the age of 77.

German poet, essayist, editor, and translator Hans Magnus Enzensberger died on November 24 at the age of 93.

Underground comics artist Aline Kominsky-Crumb died on November 29 at the age of 74.

French journalist Dominique Lapierre, the author of Is Paris Burning?, died on December 2 at the age of 91.

Emily Temple
Emily Temple
Emily Temple is the managing editor at Lit Hub. Her first novel, The Lightness, was published by William Morrow/HarperCollins in June 2020. You can buy it here.





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