Thursday, July 23, 2015
EL Doctorow: 'He showed how a great literary imagination can illuminate the present through the prism of the past'
The American writer EL Doctorow, who died on Tuesday in New York at the age of 84, represented a series of paradoxes. He was a committed literary modernist who almost never depicted his own times. Despite being a longtime academic whose photograph would perfectly have illustrated a dictionary entry for “professor”, his sure populist touch resulted in his novels becoming bestsellers and being adapted into Hollywood movies and a Broadway musical. Yet, although these works brought him unusually broad audiences for a serious novelist, Doctorow never quite achieved the fame of his contemporaries such as Philip Roth and John Updike.