Gore Vidal, the american novelist, playwright and scriptwriter passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Cause of death is thought to have been linked to pneumonia.
Vidal will be remembered as much for his outspokenness as for his writing carer which span 60 years. Only as recently as 2008 he managed to cause controversy in the states by saying that America is rotting away and people shouldn’t expect Barack Obama to save it.
Vidal became famous with the publication of his third book, The City and The Pillar in 1948, as it was the first book by an american writer that deals with homosexuality in a positive way. At the time he outraged critics with the book, that would later garner him respect, and never ceased to stir controversy in american society.
Vidal himself was openly gay though he once said that there was no such thing as a homosexual person, only homosexual acts. He had a relationship with Howard Austen for five decades. They lived in Italy for over 30 years. He wrote about the illness and death of his partner in 2003.
Other books by Vidal include Myra Breckenridge and Bur. He also wrote plays such as The Best Man and An evening with Richard Nixon and contributed to movie scripts, for example Ben-Hur and The Catered Affair. He received various awards, amongst them the National Book Award in 1993 for United States: Essays 1952-1992, the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 1982 for The Second American Revolution and Other Essays and a lifetime achievement award at the National Book Award in 2009.
Many books have been written about Vidal, either his work or personal life and he also published his own memoirs, Palimpsest in 1995, which covers the first four decades of his life and Point to Point Navigation in 2006