The Library suffered two losses within the last two weeks, one deeply personal and the other literary but both impactful in meaningful ways. Peter Prager was a wonderful friend and colleague to many here at the Oviatt. He passed away last week after a recent, serious change in his health. As former Special Assistant to Library Dean Emeritus, Sue Curzon, Peter collaborated with just about everyone in the building during his many years working within the Library. Always collegial and professional, Peter could be counted on for a positive and kind word for those lucky enough to be in his presence. His knack for engaging others in lively conversation always brightened the day. Peter also had a sense of humor that endeared him to many as well. We will miss Peter and his warm and caring demeanor and are grateful for the privilege it has been to share in his professional life. The Oviatt is a better place because Peter was a part of our Library family.
This week also marked the passing of literary giant Gore Vidal. Author of 24 novels, five plays, two memoirs and several volumes of essays Mr. Vidal was known for his acerbic wit and satirical observations. Usually controversial and never conventional, he took great pleasure in being a public figure. But it’s his works that speak best for him. A prolific writer, Mr. Vidal found his greatest success with historical novels, specifically his American Chronicles: Washington, D.C. (1967), Burr (1973), 1876 (1976), Lincoln (1984), Empire (1987), Hollywood (1990) and The Golden Age (2000). However, he was also a master writer of essays with his collection The Second American Revolution which won him the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 1982. You may want to take a look at the Oviatt Library’s Gore Vidal Pinterest board which includes an interview, famous quotes and information about his writings.