Paul West, American novelist and poet, Died at 85

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Paul West was born on February 23, 1930, and passed away October 18, 2015.

Paul was a novelist and poet. He was born in Eckington, Derbyshire in England to Alfred and Mildred (Noden) West.

Before his death, Paul resided in Ithaca, New York with his wife Diane Ackerman, a writer, poet, and naturalist.

Paul is the author of twenty-four novels. “He has published poetry, criticism, essays, memoirs (including an extended, sometimes hilarious meditation on learning to swim at middle age) and…novels of an unsettling nonuniformity.”

Paul grew up in a family that loved books and considered the written word to be sacred.

This love of books pushed him to gain a diverse education through his studies at Oxford and Columbia Universities.

Paul’s literary craft has earned him the American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award (1985), the Lannan Prize for Fiction (1993), the Grand Prix Halperine-Kaminsky Award (1993), and three Pushcart Prizes (1987, 1991, 2003).

Paul is also a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Public Library Literary Lion (1987), and a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et Lettres, 1996, France).

In 2003, West had a stroke, which his wife, Diane Ackerman, has written about in her book One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, a Marriage and the Language of Healing.

He died on 18 October 2015 at the age of 85 in Ithaca, New York from pneumonia.

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