Elaine Woo of the Los Angeles Times reports that writer and activist Grace Paley has died. She was 84.
Grace Paley, the activist and writer whose vibrant, Bronx-accented short stories illuminated the daily trials and boisterous interior lives of working-class men and women in language that radiated humanity, intelligence and streetwise humor, has died. She was 84.
Paley died of breast cancer Wednesday at her home in Thetford Hill, Vt., said her husband, playwright Robert Nichols.
During a writing career that began more than 50 years ago, Paley published only three collections of stories, but those books -- "The Little Disturbances of Man" (1959), "Enormous Changes at the Last Minute" (1974) and "Later the Same Day" (1985) -- garnered elaborate praise from critics, fellow writers and a loyal core of readers. One noted admirer, novelist Philip Roth, said her stories offered "an understanding of loneliness, lust, selfishness and fatigue that is splendidly comic and unladylike." In 1993 Paley received the $25,000 Rea Award, which has been described as the Pulitzer Prize of short-story writing. Declaring that Paley's voice was like no other in American fiction, the judges called her "a pure short-story writer, a natural to the form in the way that rarely gifted athletes are said to be naturals."
She worked hard for peace in the world. Peace to you, Grace.