Saturday, December 31, 2016

Tributes 2016



2016 was a heartbreaking year considering how many celebrities died, people who gave so much of themselves by entertaining us. But my year ending blog always deals with the authors whom I’ve read and died. And this year only two authors fit that requirement: Harper Lee and Pat Conroy.

There isn’t anything I can add to all the accolades for one of the greatest American novels, To Kill a Mockingbird. It is a classic and will endure forever. It has been a long time since I read the novel and it’s the movie I remember best. I was thrilled when Gregory Peck won the Academy Award for his performance.

I only read one novel by Pat Conroy, The Great Santini. And like Mockingbird, it’s the movie I remember more than the novel and the performance by Robert Duvall. But unlike Ms. Lee, Mr. Conroy left behind a substantial body of work.


The deaths of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds touched me immensely. I never read Ms. Fisher’s books and I don’t know if Ms. Reynolds wrote any or not. The reason I mention them is that Debbie Reynolds, my idol when I was a teenager, was the inspiration for a character in three of my own books. In my Tiger Sister trilogy, she was the oldest of six sisters and a rambunctious mischief maker who terrorized her younger sisters. But Debbie Tiger got her come-uppance with a surprise ending in one of the stories and would never have existed in my mind or my books if Debbie Reynolds had never existed.

8 comments:

Patricia Gligor said...

Pat,
I enjoyed your post and I hope you're feeling better soon.
The fact that so many famous people died in 2016 is sad. On the flip side, each of them left their mark on the world - in a positive way. We will remember them with fondness and gratitude for their accomplishments, which will live on for a long, long time. Maybe forever.
Happy New Year!

Marja said...

Some losses are unexpected and heartbreaking. To Kill a Mockingbird is my all-time favorite book, and I loved the movie, too, because they stayed so close the the book. I've never read Postcards from the Edge, or seen the movie, but I just ordered the book because I've heard so much about it. Yes, it's been a sad year on some fronts, and positive year on others.

Palmaltas said...

Thank you, Patricia, for your kind, thoughtful comments.

Palmaltas said...

Yes, Marja, I knew that To Kill a Mockingbird was your favorite book and whenever I saw Harper Lee's name mentioned, I would think of you. Thank you for commenting.

MaggieB said...

Love and appreciate what Patricia said. I've read probably 3 of Pat Conroy's books and read "Postcards from the Edge," which I enjoyed. His books were very intense but worth reading for those from extreme childhoods. Hers was also honest but funny. And, of course, "To Kill a Mockingbird," stands alone. Lucky to have lost just 2, I guess. Thanks, Pat.

Palmaltas said...

Thank you, MaggieB. I agree that Conroy's books were very intense but that's what he intended,I imagine. There were other authors who died in 2016 but not ones I had read.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Their deaths are sad, but we lose people every year. I think as we grow older, we're more sensitive to the deaths of people whose books we've read, whose movies we've seen. These days they're like Debbie Reynolds—people older than we are and have long been a part of our world, or they're our age. Sometimes even younger.

I never knew that Debbie Reynolds was the inspiration for one of your characters. Her story is fascinating. She was only 18 when she was asked to be a star in "Singin' in the Rain" with two of the most famous tap dancers of the time.

Happy New Year. Feel better soon!

Marilyn

Palmaltas said...

Thank you, Marilyn, and Happy New Year to you, too! I guess I haven't promoted my Vv Tiger series as much as the others, which is strange since they are my favorites. Debbie Tiger figures prominently in The Little Tiger Sisters and my favorite book out of all I've written, The Happy Tigers. My youngest granddaughter created the covers for all three of the books in the trilogy, which will soon not be a trilogy since I plan to write a time-travel series featuring another sister who was named after Marilyn Monroe!