Lloyd Alexander, R.I.P.

I didn’t see that Lloyd Alexander had died until yesterday. From the Washington Post (“Lloyd Alexander; Fantasy and Adventure Writer,” by Adam Bernstein):

Lloyd Alexander, 83, a critically acclaimed fantasy and adventure writer whose coming-of-age novels use vivid action and elements of mythology to depict contemporary struggles between good and evil, died May 17 at his home in Drexel Hill, Pa. He had cancer.

Mr. Alexander wrote more than 40 books and is regarded as one of the best-known writers of juvenile fiction of the past several decades. He won over adult reviewers with cliff-hanging plots, stylish prose and believable characters that make his fanciful, long-ago settings seem plausible and relevant.

As a kid, I first read fantasy, then SF, then in high school used the SF angle to work my way into J. G. Ballard and William Burroughs — from there I explored all sorts of alternative stuff, some of which I even understood. But Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain started it all for me. There are scenes that still stick in my head 30 years later, which tells you something about his skill as a writer. I can’t wait until my sons are old enough to read him.

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Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix.

2 Comments on "Lloyd Alexander, R.I.P."

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  1. mickeywall@earthlink.net' Michaela says:

    Lloyd Alexander has been my favorite author for abou a year and i didn’t find out that he was dead until I read “The Golden Dreams of Carlo Chuchio” (which is an excelent book and about the 6th book of his that I’ve read) and it said that he lived until 2007. I searched him and found out that he died 11 days after my 13th birthday. I was kind of upset because I had hoped that someday, I would get to meet him. But I guess I can’t, now.

  2. Keir says:

    Fortunately, though, every time you read one of his books, you’re meeting a part of his personality. Books are one of the very best ways to spend time with people we’ll never have the chance to meet.

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