LM_NET: Library Media Networking

Previous by DateNext by Date Date Index
Previous by ThreadNext by Thread Thread Index
LM_NET Archive

I  received this message from the resource center at Random House
Publishing earlier today concerning the death of Robert Cormier.

> Dear Friends,
> We have lost one of our beloved authors. Bob was a wonderful, gentle man
> and we will miss him dearly.
> Terry Borzumato
> Director, School and Library Marketing
> Random House Children's Books
> TBorzumato@randomhouse.com
> Teachers@Random http://www.randomhouse.com/teachers
> Leominster (November 2, 2000)-Robert E. Cormier, internationally
> bestselling author of 18 books and the recipient of numerous honors and
> awards, died Thursday morning at Massachusetts General Hospital after a
> brief illness. He was 75.
> Mr. Cormier was renowned as a young adult author whose works were popular
> not only with teenagers throughout the world but also with adult readers
> and were praised by critics for their brilliant writing and dazzling
> twists of plot.
>       Mr. Cormier also was an award-winning journalist and a reporter,
> columnist, and editor for almost 30 years.
>       His novels, however, remain his greatest achievements, and many have
> attained the status of classics.
>       In 1974, with the publication of The Chocolate War, Mr. Cormier changed
> the entire landscape of adolescent literature. Noted critic and writer
> Michael Cart said, "Robert Cormier is without peer. He is, simply, the
> single most important writer in a field that is made distinguished by his
> contributions to it. He singlehandedly turned the genre in a dramatic new
> direction."
>       Mr. Cormier's books have been translated into more than a dozen
> languages, among them French, German, Italian, Swedish, Chinese, and
> Japanese, and three of his novels were made into motion pictures.
>       Mr. Cormier traveled the world, from Australia and New Zealand to most
> the countries in Europe, speaking at schools, colleges, and universities
> and to teacher and library associations. He visited almost every state in
> the nation. He loved to travel but said many times that he also loved
> returning to Leominster, where he lived all his life.
>       He received hundreds of letters each year from young readers and wrote
> personal answers to every one. He also received countless telephone calls
> from young people who discovered his telephone number in I Am the Cheese.
>       Leominster was portrayed in his novels and short stories thinly
> as Monument. He said that there were also touches of nearby Fitchburg,
> where he was a journalist for many years.
>       A native of Leominster, where he was born on January 17, 1925, he was
> son of Lucien J. and Irma M. (Collins) Cormier. He was a graduate of St.
> Cecilia's Parochial School in 1938 and of Leominster High School, where
> was president of the senior class, in 1942. In 1943-44, he attended
> Fitchburg State College, where he also served as president of his class.
>       He and the former Constance B. Senay of Leominster were married in 1948.
> The couple had four children: Bobbie Sullivan of Scituate; Peter J.
> Cormier of Sterling; Chris Cormier Hayes of Mansfield; and Renee E.
> Wheeler of Dalton. They had 10 grandchildren.
>       Mr. Cormier began to write at the age of 12, and his first poems were
> published in the Leominster Daily Enterprise. His first professional
> publication occurred while he was a freshman at Fitchburg State College,
> when Prof. Florence Conlon sent his short story, without his knowledge,
> The Sign, a national Catholic magazine, where it sold for $75. The story
> was titled "The Little Things That Count."
>       Mr. Cormier's first work as a writer was at radio station WTAG in
> Worcester, MA, where he wrote scripts and commercials from 1946 to 1948.
>       In 1948, he began his award-winning career as a newspaperman with the
> Worcester Telegram, first in its Leominster office and later in its
> Fitchburg office. He wrote a weekly human interest column, "A Story from
> the Country," for that newspaper.
>       In 1955, Mr. Cormier joined the staff of the Fitchburg Sentinel, which
> later became the Fitchburg-Leominster Sentinel and Enterprise, as the
> hall and political reporter. He later served as wire and associate editor
> and wrote a popular twice-weekly column under the pseudonym John Fitch
> The column received the national K.R. Thomason Award in 1974 as the best
> human interest column written that year. That same year, he was honored
> the New England Associated Press Association for having written the best
> news story under pressure of deadline. He left newspaper work in 1978 to
> devote all his time to writing.
>       Mr. Cormier's first novel, Now and at the Hour, was published in 1960.
> Inspired by his father's death, the novel drew critical acclaim and was
> featured by Time magazine for five weeks on its "Recommended Reading"
> list. It was followed in 1963 by A Little Raw on Monday Mornings and in
> 1965 by Take Me Where the Good Times Are, also critically acclaimed. The
> author was hailed by the Newark Advocate as being "in the first rank of
> American Catholic novelists."
>       In 1974, Mr. Cormier published The Chocolate War, the novel that is
> a bestseller a quarter century after its publication. Instantly
> it was also the object of censorship attempts because of its
> uncompromising realism. In a front-page review in a special children's
> issue of The New York Times Book Review, it was described as "masterfully
> structured and rich in theme," and it went on to win countless awards and
> honors, was taught in schools and colleges throughout the world, and was
> translated into more than a dozen languages.
>       I Am the Cheese followed in 1977 and After the First Death in 1979.
>       The three books established Mr. Cormier as a master of the young adult
> novel. In 1991, the Young Adult Services Division of the American Library
> Association presented Mr. Cormier with the Margaret A. Edwards Award,
> citing the trio of books as "brilliantly crafted and troubling novels
> have achieved the status of classics in young adult literature."
>       In 1982, Mr. Cormier was honored by the National Council of Teachers of
> English and its Adolescent Literature Assembly (ALAN) for his
> contribution to the field of adolescent literature" and for his
> "innovative creativity."
>       Eight Plus One, an anthology of short stories that have appeared in such
> publications as the Saturday Evening Post, The Sign, and Redbook, was
> published in 1980. In later years, many of the stories in the collection,
> notably "The Moustache," "President Cleveland, Where Are You?" and "Mine
> on Thursdays," appeared in anthologies and school textbooks. The
> collection also received the World of Reading Readers' Choice Award,
> sponsored by Silver Burdett & Ginn, especially notable because young
> readers voted for Mr. Cormier to receive the prize.
>       I Have Words to Spend, a collection of his newspaper and magazine
> columns, appeared in 1991, assembled and edited by his wife, Constance.
>       Mr. Cormier's other novels include The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, 1983;
> Beyond the Chocolate War, 1983; Fade, 1988; Other Bells for Us to Ring,
> 1990; We All Fall Down, 1991; Tunes for Bears to Dance To, 1992; In the
> Middle of the Night, 1995; Tenderness, 1997; Heroes, 1998; and Frenchtown
> Summer, 1999. This novel won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young
> Adult Fiction in April 2000. All his novels have consistently won
> praise and honors.
>       In the Middle of the Night and Tenderness were shortlisted for the
> Carnegie Medal in England, and Heroes received a "Highly Commended"
> citation for that same award, unique honors because the Carnegie is
> traditionally awarded to a British book.
>       Mr. Cormier's novels frequently came under attack by censorship groups
> because they were uncompromising in their depictions of the problems
> people face each day in a turbulent world. Teachers and librarians were
> quick to point out that his novels were eminently teachable, valuable,
> moral. His novels were taught in hundreds of schools and in adolescent
> literature courses in colleges and universities.
>       Mr. Cormier was a movie buff and said he was thrilled when he was asked
> to appear in the film version of I Am the Cheese. Featuring Robert
> Hope Lange, and Robert MacNaughton, the movie was given its world
> in Leominster in 1983 and was shown in the seven theaters of the then
> Cinema at Searstown. The evening, sponsored by the Leominster Cultural
> Committee and the Leominster Hospital Guild, featured all the excitement
> of a Hollywood premiere, complete with klieg lights, limousines,
> television coverage, and dignitaries. The entire cinema complex was sold
> out, and a "roast" of Mr. Cormier was held at the Knights of Columbus
> after the showing.
>       The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, filmed in 1998 from a screenplay by Jennifer
> Sarja, a former Leominster resident, was premiered in 2000 at Cinema
> in Fitchburg after a reception at Fitchburg State College. The Chocolate
> War was made into a movie in 1988 and was released nationally.
>       Mr. Cormier's other major interest was reading. He and his wife were
> benefactors of area libraries. He was a daily visitor to one of the
> libraries in Leominster, Fitchburg, and Lunenburg and dropped into the
> libraries in Westminster and Hubbardston in the summertime. The Cormiers
> spent the summer months at their second home in Hubbardston.
> Mr. Cormier's affection for Leominster was well known to friends and
> relatives. He returned to the city each day from his summer home. He was
> voted Citizen of the Year in 1994 and wrote the introduction to the
> pictorial history, Images of America -Leominster, compiled by the
> Leominster Historical Society and published by Arcadia Publishers.
> When St. Cecilia's parish, where Mr. Cormier was baptized, confirmed, and
> married, celebrated its 100th anniversary in the year 2000, Mr. Cormier
> wrote a detailed church history, titled "Portrait of a Parish," to
> commemorate the event.
> Although he attended Fitchburg State College for only one year as a
> student, Mr. Cormier was long associated with that institution. The
> college's Robert Cormier collection includes his manuscripts,
> correspondence with editors and readers, and reviews. Many students and
> scholars from as far away as Japan have used the collection in their
> studies of his writings, in particular in their work toward master's
> degrees. In 1977, FSC honored Mr. Cormier with the honorary degree of
> Doctor of Letters. He was a member of the committee organizing the
> college's New England Writers Series and for more than 20 years served as
> a judge of the writing contest to which students from all over
> Massachusetts submitted fiction, essays, and poetry. He often visited the
> college, speaking to both graduate students and undergraduates. His
> have been taught in the adolescent literature courses.
> Mr. Cormier served as trustee of the Leominster Public Library from 1977
> to 1992. He was a lifetime member of l'Union St. Jean Baptiste D'Amérique
> and was a member of the Leominster Historical Society; l'Institut
> of Assumption College, Worcester; and Friends of the Leominster and
> Fitchburg public libraries, and was a founding member of the Thomas Wolfe
> Society.
> His biography appeared consistently in all editions of Who's Who in
> America.
> His professional affiliations included membership in PEN, an
> association for writers, editors, and publishers active in freedom of
> expression, as well as membership in the National Coalition for Freedom
> Expression and the Freedom to Read Foundation of the American Library
> Association.
> A funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Monday, November 6, at St.
> Cecilia's Church in Leominster. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made
> to St. Cecilia's Church Restoration Fund, 168 Mechanic Street,
> MA 01453; Leominster Public Library, 30 West Street, Leominster, MA
> or Development Office, Fitchburg State College, 160 Pearl Street,
> Fitchburg, MA 01420.
> ---
> NOTE:  You received this message because you subscribed
> to teachers as: koontzs@horizon.hit.net on the Teachers@Random
> Web site. To unsubscribe send a blank email to

All postings to LM_NET are protected under copyright law.
To quit LM_NET (or set-reset NOMAIL or DIGEST), send email to:
listserv@listserv.syr.edu   In the message write EITHER:
4) SET LM_NET MAIL  * Please allow for confirmation from Listserv.
For LM_NET Help see: http://ericir.syr.edu/lm_net/
Archives: http://askeric.org/Virtual/Listserv_Archives/LM_NET.html
 See also EL-Announce for announcements from library media vendors:

LM_NET Archive Home