Ray Bradbury, Brilliant Writer, Dies in LA at 91

Author Ray Bradbury died on Tuesday in Los Angeles at the age of 91.  Many an impending homage will likely refer to him using some form of “Science Fiction writer.”  I prefer to think of him as Ray Bradbury, Brilliant Writer.  There are at least three reasons I have a special fondness for Ray Bradbury.

  1. As a self-made intellectual, he wrote the 1971 essay, “How Instead of Being Educated in College, I Was Graduated From Libraries.”
  2. I read somewhere that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 while feeding the timer on a public typewriter in the basement of the New York Public Library dime after dime after dime.  I didn’t fact-check that detail and I don’t want to know if it isn’t true.  It strikes a poetic wistfulness about Perseverance which I have always appreciated.
  3. The last line of The Martian Chronicles.  “The Martians stared back up at them for a long, long silent time from the rippling water…”  [Pop Quiz.  Who are the Martians?  Who are any of us?  Why do I find this so profoundly moving?]

When I next see Mars as a little yellow dot in the sky, I will wish upon Ray Bradbury.  Thank you, my friend, for helping me see who we are.


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Written by Heidi


Heidi Nagel is KDL’s Communications Manager. She is an equal opportunity librarian — loving both cats and dogs with equal fervor.

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