Remembering Ron Sukenick

Charlie Harris sent around the following message to the ABR community today:

28 July 2004

Dear Friends of American Book Review:

I’m writing to inform you that Ron Sukenick died in the early morning of July 22. For the past several years, Ron suffered from Inclusion Body Myositis. A muscular disease for which there is no known cure and only experimental treatment, it is a progressive and degenerative illness. By the turn of the century, Ron could walk only with the help of a cane, and he was wheelchair-bound for the last three years.

Ron developed pneumonia early last week and asked that no artificial attempts be made to keep him going. As his wife Julia Frey said, “Ron died the way he lived: exactly the way he wanted to.”

There will be no funeral service. A memorial service will be held in the fall. Details of this service will be announced at a later date.

A leading figure in postmodernist literature for nearly four decades, Ron founded American Book Review in 1977 and, with several other writers, Fiction Collective, later FC2, in 1974. He completed his last novel, entitled Last Fall, just weeks ago. FC2 will publish it in the spring.

The November/December issue of American Book Review will be dedicated to Ron and will contain statements from his many friends. If you would like to contribute a statement-an anecdote, a testimonial, a recollection-please contact ABR’s managing editor (contact information below) as you can. Selected statements will be published in the special memorial section of the issue, and all of the statements will be posted on ABR’s Web site.

One of Ron’s final requests was that, in lieu of flowers, contributions to support his work and memory should be made to American Book Review and/or FC2. For ABR, please make checks payable to American Book Review, identified as a memorial to Ronald Sukenick. Send to American Book Review, Campus Box 4241, Illinois State University, Normal IL, 61790-4241. For FC2, please make checks payable to Fiction Collective Two and identify as a memorial to Ronald Sukenick. Send to Fiction Collective Two, Department of English, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1580. All contributions to American Book Review and FC2 are tax deductible.

Sincerely,

Charles B. Harris, Publisher
American Book Review

ABR’s website has also reposted this NY Times obituary.

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