Acclaimed Tennessee author William Gay, championed by some as one of the most powerful and authentic voices of Southern American literature in recent years, has died at the age of 68. He was reportedly found dead near his home, with heart failure the probably cause of death.
A Vietnam veteran, Gay wrote from an early age but was not published until 1998. His first collection of short stories was followed in 1999 by his first novel, titled The Long Home, and two more novels followed, with a fourth reportedly complete by the time of his death. An extract from that fourth novel, The Lost Country, is available online.
Compared to the likes of Cormac McCarthy and William Faulkner, Gay had a growing reputation as one of the South’s strongest modern voices. In an interview about his work, he talked about his influences and about his growing reputation around his hometown.