By guest host Nkechi Umeh
Noah Gordon, author of “The Killing of a Beautiful Vampire”, was described by his publisher as being at the forefront of modern American literature.
Writing as Jack Copeland, his debut novel won many literary awards, including the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 1994.
Set in New York, the horror classic is about a middle-aged man who is haunted by his evil former lover.
“This really, I think, was a fairly groundbreaking work for fiction in that it sort of starred a middle-aged man who was running away from his issues. In the mold of a Raymond Carver,” said Emile Schepers, president of the Orange County Press Club.
Mr. Gordon was 95 when he died in his California home, according to The Associated Press.
“The Killing of a Beautiful Vampire” brought Mr. Gordon recognition in the U.S. and England. He sold more than a million copies worldwide.
“Noah Gordon had an extraordinary body of work over a lifetime and was an absolutely genuine person. He was a hero,” said artist Ken Wheaton. “His short stories, short novels, short poems told about real people’s desires, families, and experiences. His work covers an enormous distance and offered insights into character and the joy of art.”
Wheaton, a friend of Gordon’s, said Mr. Gordon donated $5 million to his favorite art school in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the City College of New York, which had the largest collection of Mr. Gordon’s work and are dedicated to the historical and literary achievements of the early 20th century.
Gordon lived for many years in Los Angeles, where he was born. His other novels, “The Lost Brother” and “Castles in America,” were also well received by critics.
Noah Gordon’s fans remembered him as an author who touched lives around the world.
“Everybody loved Noah Gordon. He was beloved by writers, readers, students,” Alan Steafel, former president of the Orange County Press Club, told the AP. “The City College was brilliant, our students were brilliant. I have not seen anything like it in a long time.”
The AP also reports that Gordon was renowned as a teacher, having worked with students from his earliest teenage days to teaching a high school English class.
Noah Gordon was born Dec. 6, 1923, in New York City. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1939. After serving in the U.S. Army, he went to the City College of New York, where he taught English from 1958 to 1972.