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Richard Stern

Obituary
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Richard G. Stern - SAVANNAH - American writer and educator, Richard G. Stern, 84, died Thursday, January 24, 2013 at his home at Tybee Island, GA. He was born in New York City on February 25, 1928. He attended the University of North Carolina from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude in 1947. After a year working in Indiana, Florida and New York City, he went to Harvard University where he received an MA in English Literature. In 1949, he taught as a Fulbright Scholar in Versailles, France and from 1950-51 he was an assistant professor and taught at Heidelberg University. From 1952-54, he was a member of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and received a PhD from the University of Iowa in 1954. After a year teaching at Connecticut College in New London, he came to the University of Chicago where he taught from 1955-2002. He retired as Helen A Regenstein Professor of English and American Literature in 2004. In 1960, Stern published his first novel, Golk, then the novels Europe or Up and Down with Baggish and Schreiber (1961), In Any Case (1962), Stitch (1965), Other Men's Daughters (1973), Natural Shocks (1978), A Father's Words (1986), and Pacific Tremors (2001). There also have been short story collections culminating in his collected stories, Almonds to Zhoof published in 2004, his 21st book. Stern published another collection of essays, What is What Was, in 2002. Like his other essay collections, this one demonstrates that his astute observations in fiction are equal to, and derived from, his acute views on news and culture. In 1985, Stern received the Medal of Merit for the Novel, awarded to a novelist every six years by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among his many other awards was the Heartland Award for the best work of non-fiction which Stern received for his memoir, Sistermony, published in 1995. Stern has been praised by many of the great writers and critics of the last fifty years, among them Anthony Burgess, Flannery O'Connor, Howard Nemerov, Thomas Berger, Hugh Kenner, Sven Birkerts, and Richard Ellmann, as well as his close friends Tom Rogers, Saul Bellow, Donald Justice, and Philip Roth. He has also enjoyed literary acquaintances and friendships with such figures as Samuel Beckett, Ezra Pound, Robert Lowell, Lillian Hellman, and Jorge Luius Borges. He is survived by his second wife, Poet Alane Rollings, and four children, Christopher Stern of New York City; Kate Stern of Bethesda, MD; Andrew Stern of Chicago, IL: and Nicholas Stern of Sacramento, CA. He has five grandchildren, Liza Baron, Alex Baron, Eli Stern, Jacob Stern and Nina Sherman. A memorial service will be held in Chicago at a later date. Please sign our guest book on line at www.foxandweeks.com Savannah Morning News January 27, 2013 Please sign our Obituary Guest Book at savannahnow.com/obituaries.
Published in Savannah Morning News on Jan. 27, 2013
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