From catastrophic weather and violent school tragedies to increasing numbers of same-sex marriages and elected minorities, 2013 was a year of contrast and change. But for me, no impact hit closer to home in 2013 than the losses we chalked up among the familiar folks who signed off forever. From heroic Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid Read More
Al Goldstein was a much more complicated man than the “crude, obese pornographer” character he himself helped create. He was a passionate defender of the First Amendment, and not just out of self-interest—he deeply understood how important it was to America’s greatness and viewed its defense as the height of patriotism. Read More
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered that flags at City Hall be lowered to half-staff this evening to honor the late Nelson Mandela, who died earlier today at the age of 95. Read More
Peter’s New York City was filled with villains and knights, and no subject was too small to escape his sharp eye and golden tongue. Read More
It was exactly the kind of thing you’d imagine David Rakoff, the sweet but kvetchy essayist who died last year, rolling his eyes at.
Last week, 62 readers convened on the fourth floor of the Union Square Barnes & Noble to commemorate the posthumous publication of Mr. Rakoff’s novel in verse, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish.
Yet perhaps in the spirit of the Canadian-born essayist, who was 47 when he succumbed to cancer last August, the evening was remarkably touching without slipping into overt sentimentality—a signature trait of Mr. Rakoff’s work. Read More
When looking back on the career of Alan Abelson, the longtime Barron’s columnist who died last week at age 87, one gets the sense that he could have written about any subject if he had wanted to.
Mr. Abelson was known as much for his elegant prose as he was for his keen insight into the financial Read More
Michael Wolff’s mother, Van, died Tuesday morning after a two and half year illness, the Observer has learned.
Mr. Wolff wrote about his mother’s declining health and worsening dementia in a moving and controversial story for New York Magazine in May that questioned the modern approach to end-of-life care. Read More
Screenwriter, director, and essayist Nora Ephron died last night; she was 71. Wonderful tributes and memories of Ephron’s legacy keep pouring out (just one example: it turns out the You’ve Got Mail website is very much intact, and itself a wonderful, odd little remnant of one of her more profound tributes to the Upper West Side).
If you haven’t read the New York Times‘ exceptional obituary of Ms. Ephron do so. Meanwhile, we have been relishing our own small piece of Ephron’s legacy: The You’ve Got Mail character Frank Navasky, played by Greg Kinnear. Read More