Lloyd Alexander died on Thursday.
Molly I know will join with me... as will Libby... as would Megwin if she had any idea where I am. What the emotion is I'm not sure. There is not grief or loss, since I didn't know him, nor can there really be much sadness, since he was 83 and (I think) had had cancer for some time. Also, his wife died just two weeks earlier. They were married for sixty-one years, and I can only imagine that, like my grandmother, he wanted little more than to follow his partner through that darkest of doors.
So I cannot be sad for him. And I cannot feel mournful when the only thing I ever knew of him, his writing, is as accessible to me as ever. I do not even feel sad that he won't write any more books, since his recent writing has grown dramatically weaker.
All the same, it was a physical shock when I saw his name in the obituary column. This man was important to me. This man created worlds I loved to live in and people I love to know. He was arguably the foremost living writer in the genre I love best, the genre I will probably do much of my writing in. Stories, like Olympian gods, are strangely begotten, breeding and interbreeding over decades, centuries, and millenia. We writers and passionate readers are also part of this tangled genealogy, and we can trace out many forebears.
In real-time, flesh-and-blood life, I have lost both my grandparents this year. In the world of stories, I have just lost another.
- ► 2009 (12)