|Tina and Peter Moore
Tina Moore, founder (with Peter Moore) and co-owner of Blue Marble Books, Fort Thomas, Ken., died December 28. The announcement was made, with "very heavy hearts," on the shop's Facebook page, which noted that Moore "was one of the Tri-State's most prominent children's literature experts, and friend of a great many children's book authors and illustrators. She served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Children's Booksellers (ABC) and was a founding member of the trade organization. She was recognized for her contributions to area literacy with the Silver Gertie Award (1989), and she was named one of the Women of the Year in Northern Kentucky (1995). In lieu of flowers, the Moore family has requested that memorial donations be made to literacy organizations such as the OKI Children's Literature Conference or your local library."
Children's author and illustrator Will Hillenbrand, who knew Moore for more than three decades, told the Cincinnati Inquirer that she "was a life force for this genre of books. Her passion was as deep on the subject as anyone I've ever known. She just didn't have books, she knew books. And if she knew you or she knew a child, she could find a perfect match." He added that the Moores created a community around their shop: "There was just a collection of people who were crazy about books and crazy about people who made books. They created those environments. They, of course, had many author events in their store, but their enthusiasm was beyond what just those walls could hold. They held a lot though.... The measure that we have of how deep a loss is, is the measure of how great the gift was. Her gift was a great love."
British novelist Richard Adams, "who became one of the world's bestselling authors with his first book, Watership Down, a tale of rabbits whose adventures in a pastoral realm of epic perils explored Homeric themes of exile, courage and survival," died December 24, the New York Times reported. He was 96. Although the novel was rejected by literary agents and publishers, in 1972 the small press Rex Collings Ltd. printed a first edition of 2,500 copies and it went on to win the Carnegie Medal in Literature in 1972 and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 1973. Macmillan published the first U.S. edition in 1974.
Watership Down "quickly topped the New York Times bestseller list and remained on it for eight months," the Times noted, adding: "Avon paid $800,000 for the paperback rights. It eventually became Penguin's all-time best seller, a staple of high school English classes and one of the best-selling books of the century, with an estimated 50 million copies in print in 18 languages worldwide." Other works by Adams include Shardik, The Plague Dogs, Traveller, Tales From Watership Down and his autobiography, The Day Gone By.
Carrie Fisher, the actress, author and screenwriter "who brought a rare combination of nerve, grit and hopefulness to her most indelible role, as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movie franchise," and "went on to use her perch among Hollywood royalty to offer wry commentary in her books on the paradoxes and absurdities of the entertainment industry," died December 27, the New York Times reported. She was 60. Fisher's books include The Princess Diarist, Shockaholic, Wishful Drinking, The Best Awful, Delusions of Grandma, Surrender the Pink and Postcards from the Edge.
In the Los Angeles Times, author John Scalzi wrote: "Fisher's four novels were based to some extent on her own life--as an author, 'write what you know' was something Fisher took seriously--but the books were more than veiled tidbits of the life of a Hollywood scion. They announced the arrival of a writer whose voice--witty but vulnerable, willing to push her readers to the edge of their comfort zone with the same lines that made them laugh--was both all her own, and part of a literary tradition that included writers like Dorothy Parker and Elaine May....
"Fisher's memoirs were not universally loved... but it's possible that in the final accounting, the openness in which Fisher addressed her struggles with mental illness, pills and other drugs may have been the most important thing she'd done.... There's no doubt that Fisher's fame comes from Star Wars... But Fisher's legacy includes her written words--cutting, clever, observant, self-aware and unbowed."