David Eddings Dies at 77

Posted on June 4, 2009

Bestselling fantasy author David Eddings has died at the age of 77. His co-author and wife, Leigh Eddings, died in 2007. Eddings wrote more than 25 books, including the Belgariad and Mallorean series which introduced legions of fantasy fans to Garion, the farmboy, Belgarath the Sorcerer and his daughter Polgara.

Despite his success, Eddings was known for his humble nature. "His huge worldwide success and fame did not change Dave at all," said his long-term publisher at HarperCollins, Jane Johnson, herself a fantasy author. "He was unfailingly self-effacing on the subject of his success, once saying: 'I'm never going to be in danger of getting a Nobel prize for literature, I'm a storyteller, not a prophet. I'm just interested in a good story'."

Eddings was always delighted, he said, to hear that he'd turned non-readers into readers. "I look upon this as perhaps my purpose in life," he said in 1997. "I am here to teach a generation or two how to read. After they've finished with me and I don't challenge them any more, they can move on to somebody important like Homer or Milton."

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Johnson said he would be missed "tremendously" at HarperCollins, which published his last title, The Elder Gods, in 2006. "He was a towering force of modern commercial fiction, a master of the epic, and a delight to work with," she said. "The Voyager team and I were immensely sad to hear the news."

The Nevada Appeal newspaper has details of his passing. He never quite recovered from the death of his wife Leigh from a series of strokes; David had reportedly been suffering from dementia for some time. This is a great loss to the fantasy community. Our condolences to his friends and family.


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