The past 12 months represent a cruelly expensive year in the literary world. We lost some of the greats in 2007 and, sadly, sometimes it seemed we spent as much time at January last year saying good-bye to authors as we did in celebrating their lives.

As Sarah Weinman commented in The Guardian in November, “No doubt people say this every year, but I can’t remember a 12-month period in which America has lost so many of its best-known writers.” I agree.

At January Magazine alone we commented on the deaths of Jane Rule, Ira Levin and Norman Mailer, all in November. Earlier in the year, there was Madeleine L’Engle (September), Margaret Clark (May), David Halberstam, June Callwood, Kurt Vonnegut and Michael Dibdin (all April) and Richard S. Prather back in February.

Our sister publication, The Rap Sheet, commented on some of the same passages, as well as Marc Behm (September), Joe L. Hensley, Magdalen Nabb, John Gardner and Rodney D. Wingfield (all in August), Philip R. Craig (May), Donald Hamilton (April) and Barbara Seranella and Sidney Sheldon (January).

You can see all of our tributes labeled as Passages and collected here.

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