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R.I.P., Studs

Studs Terkel is gone.

It was only a matter of time, given his advanced age and poor health, but this still hurts like hell. Studs was one of the few people I'd say deserved the title of a national treasure -- funny, smart, endlessly curious, a lefty of the old school, kind and decent, and one of the world's great storytellers. He was a glowing symbol of my beloved Chicago, and one of the greatest people I've ever had the privilege to meet.

He was utterly, immediately alive. It's hard to think of him otherwise.

Comments

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tx_cronopio
Oct. 31st, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
So sad. I wish he could have seen Election Day.
shekb
Oct. 31st, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
I never read anything beyond Work, but I blew through that one cover-to-cover. There's nothing easy about making the mundane fascinating, even if you've just plopped down a tape recorder and coaxed someone else to talk. That's a talent.
stevegreen
Oct. 31st, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
I once heard the man himself tell an anecdote about Working. Apparently, some guardian of public morality complained about the "filthy" books available in a (college?) library, picking up one volume which bore just three words on the cover. "Take this, for example," she said, "Working Studs by Terkel."
memento_mori
Oct. 31st, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
I saw him speak this past year in NYC. Kind of an amazing guy! Did not take ANY shit from the yahoos in the audience.
lunchcat
Oct. 31st, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
I'd never anything by him but I just listened to a profile of him on NPR on the way home and he sounds amazing. I'm definitely going to check him out.
steve_hicken
Oct. 31st, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC)
What would you recommend as an introduction to his work?
bassman42
Nov. 1st, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)
God, that sucks! I think I read "Working" in my twenties and was amazed at the clarity of the writing and the way he seemed to identify with the different types of workers. Sad to see he's gone.
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Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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