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Novelist Lewis Nordan dies at age 72

Novelist Lewis Nordan died Friday, April 13, in Cleveland from complications stemming from pneumonia, according to his wife, Alicia. He was 72.

He is most famous for his 1993 novel Wolf Whistle, which was based on the killing of Emmett Till in 1955. Other works include the 1983 short story collection Welcome to the Arrow-Catcher Fair, a 1995 novel The Sharpshooter Blues, and Boy With Loaded Gun, a memoir published in 2000.

Nordan was born Aug. 23, 1939, in Forest, Miss., and reared in Itta Bena, Miss. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., followed by a master’s degree from Mississippi State University and a Ph.D. from Auburn. After teaching at the University of Arkansas and elsewhere, he taught creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh for more than two decades, retiring in 2005.

Nordan’s first marriage, to Mary Mitman, ended in divorce. He is survived by his second wife, Alicia Blessing Nordan; a son, Lewis Eric, from his first marriage; two stepsons, Josh and Adam Conn; and six grandchildren.


Related Links

Lewis Nordan, Writer Who Spun Lyrical Tales, Dies at 72,” by Margalit Fox, The New York Times (16 April 2012).

Obituary: Lewis A. Nordan | Engaging writer, teacher penned novels and short stories on South,” by Gary Rotstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (17 April 2012).


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