James Salter dies

James Salter dies

Pan Macmillan has paid tribute to the American writer James Salter, who died on Friday (19th June) at the age of 90.

Salter's last book, All That Is,  was published to  acclaim by Picador last year. Baggaley described publishing the book "one of the greatest privileges I've had at Picador." 

He said: "Jim was sometimes tagged a writer's writer, not always the most helpful accolade, particularly in terms of driving sales, but in Salter's case, it simply meant that other fine writers were in awe of what Jim could do. Richard Ford memorably said: 'It is an article of faith among readers of fiction that James Salter writes American sentences better than anybody writing today."

"Jim still cut an unfeasibly glamorous figure, born into a much classier era. He had lived the life other American writers dreamed of: he had flown over 100 combat mission for the US air force in Korea; he had written screenplays that were made into Hollywood films; and at the same time he was slowly, meticulously putting together this truly impressive body of work. 

"His death takes away another great writer from a great era of American literary fiction. I believe that James Salter stands alongside William Maxwell, Richard Yates and John Williams, writers whose work will resonate with readers for as long as fiction is read."  

Salter's other works included Solo Faces and  Light Years (both Penguin Modern Classics) and collection Dusk and Other Stories (Picador), which won the 1989 PEN/Faulkner award.

In a Bookseller profile earlier this month, novelist Andrew Miller singled out Salter's "superb, confident…high-risk writing"for special praise.