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chuck kinder

Novelist and ‘Wonder Boys’ Inspiration Chuck Kinder Passes Away

LA Times reports that beloved novelist Chuck Kinder, who was also the inspiration for the central character in Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys, has passed away.

Kinder was regarded as a literary force with a larger-than-life personality, and published many titles, including Snakehunter, The Silver Ghost, Honeymooners: A Cautionary Tale, Last Mountain Dancer: Hard-Earned Lessons in Love, Loss, and Honky-Tonk Outlaw Life, and last year’s Hot Jewels.

 

honeymooners

Image via Amazon

 

Honeymooners was Kinder’s most popular book, and tells the story of two bad-boy writers, who were inspired by real-life friend Raymond Carver, and himself.

He was also famous for mentoring Michael Chabon when the Pulitzer Prize-winning author was still an undergraduate student in the 1980s. The late author was believed to be the inspiration for the character Grady Tripp, the disheveled, pot-addicted writer and professor in Chabon’s Wonder Boys (The character was portrayed by Michael Douglas in the 2000 adaptation).

 

wonder boys

Image via Amazon

 

Kinder’s former student, novelist, and screenwriter, April Smith, praised her teacher, “[Kinder’s] work was and remains outstanding and fresh. He was a born storyteller with an instinct for myth, which was not exactly in favor compared to pared-down modernists like John Updike.”

 

chuck kinder

Image via LA Times

 

Another former student, Carl Kurlander, posted as well, reminiscing about Kinder’s warmth and creation of a safe space for fellow writers during his 40 years as a teacher:

 

“When I first came back to Pittsburgh for what I thought would be a one year Hollywood sabbatical, I met a great teacher/writer/human being named Chuck Kinder who embraced me so warmly, it was one of the reasons I felt like staying.”

 

After a number of health issues including two strokes, a heart attack, and triple-bypass surgery, Kinder retired as the director of University of Pittsburgh’s creative writing program in 2014, and settled in Key Largo, Florida, with his wife, Cecily.

Kinder was seventy-fix-years old. He will be remembered by admirers and all whose talents he helped foster.

 

Featured Image via Washington Post