WILLIAM GASS (1924–2017)

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of William H. Gass, a brilliant novelist, a consummate prose stylist, a beloved professor, and a longtime friend of Dalkey Archive Press. Born in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1924, Gass studied philosophy before going on to write some of the most distinctive fiction of the late twentieth century, including Omensetter’s LuckIn the Heart of the Heart of the Country, and The Tunnel. He was also one of the most prolific and talented essayists America has seen since Emerson, penning essays on subjects that ranged from the philosophy of metaphor to the color blue, from the elaborate syntax of Henry James to the “permanent avant-garde” of Kafka, Stein, Joyce, Beckett et al. For more than three decades, Gass was a professor—first of philosophy and then of humanities—at Washington University in St. Louis, a city that he came to call home. No writer more deserved to be called a genius—and few geniuses were such a delight to read. William H. Gass will be missed by all of us here at Dalkey who were privileged to work with him. Our deepest sympathies go to his wife, Mary, and their children.

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