US Novelist Gore Vidal dies

Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Los Angeles: US novelist Gore Vidal, the author, savvy analyst of American life, politician died on Tuesday at age 86, his family has reportedly has said.

Gore Vidal who dies at the age of 86
on Tuesday [File Photo]
According to media reports Vidal died at his home in the Hollywood Hills at about 6.45 p.m. of complications from pneumonia.

Vidal had been living alone in his home and had been ill quite from some days.

Vidal is survived by his half-sister Nina Straight and half-brother Tommy Auchincloss.

Vidal was among the last generation of literary writers, who were also genuine celebrities fixtures on talk shows and in gossip columns.

He wrote 25 novels, essays, Broadway hits, screenplays and television dramas in a career that also included unsuccessful runs for political office, celebrated talk show duels, and even an appearance as himself in Fellini's "Roma."

"The City and the Pillar", the author's third novel dealt unabashedly with homosexuality, scandalizing reviewers when it was published in 1948 but broke new ground in American literature.

Candidly claimed himself to be bi-sexual and contemptuous of prudish mores, he returned to the subject of sexual identity 20 years later in his transsexual satire "Myra Breckenridge."

Other novels dealt with US politics and history, tracing what he saw as the rise of an American Empire in novels like "Burr" (1973), 1876 (1976), "Lincoln" (1984), "Empire" (1987), "Hollywood" (1990), and "The Golden Age" (2000).

Satires included "Kalki" (1978), "Duluth" (1983) and "Live from Golgotha: the Gospel according to Gore Vidal" (1992).

His politics often sparked controversy.

The son of a US army officer, Vidal was born October 3, 1925 at West Point, the US military academy, to a family rich in political and social connections. 
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