'True original' Doctorow dies

'True original' Doctorow dies

US novelist E L Doctorow has died at the age of 84.

Doctorow, known for works including Ragtime (Penguin Modern Classics) and The March (Abacus), passed away yesterday in New York from complications from lung cancer, his son told the New York Times.

Doctorow, whose full name was Edgar Lawrence Doctorow, won a number of awards for his writing, including the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, the latter twice, in the US. He also won the PEN/Faulkner Award and was given the National Humanities Medal, which is conferred by the president.

Doctorow’s editor at Little, Brown, Richard Beswick, said: “I am very sorry to say that the great E L Doctorow has died. We have published him for nearly 20 years, during which time he wrote some of his finest novels (if you haven't read The March I can't recommend it too highly).

“People are perhaps too often described as a 'true original' - but he really was. The surprising perspectives from which he chose to tell his stories cast a penetrating light on America, always from his humane and liberal perspective.”

Doctorow’s books often mixed fictional characters with historical figures. His novels focused on different periods of history, covering the American Civil War, in The March; the turn of the century in Ragtime; and the Cold War in The Book of Daniel.

In a tweet US president Barack Obama called Doctorow “one of America’s greatest novelists”.
“His books taught me much, and he will be missed,” said Obama.