Saturday, August 30, 2014

Obituary Note: Pierre Ryckmans (Simon Leys); Winifred Dawson

Shelf Awareness

Belgian author and China scholar Pierre Ryckmans, who was better known under his pen name Simon Leys, died August 11. He was 78. The Guardian reported that "his diary dissecting Maoism and the cultural revolution, Les Habits Neufs du Président Mao (The Chairman's New Clothes, 1971), echoed the title of the Hans Christian Andersen fable and made its thesis plain in its first few words.... His novella The Death of Napoleon (1991) was filmed as The Emperor's New Clothes, with Ian Holm in the title role."


Winifred Dawson, a librarian who "inspired five of Philip Larkin's poems--more than did any of the other women in his life," has died, the Guardian reported, noting that the poet's new biographer, James Booth, described their relationship as a "romantic friendship."

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