James Salter, author of 'A Sport and a Pastime,' dies at 90 | EW.com


James Salter, author of A Sport and a Pastime, dies at 90

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James Salter, the prize-winning author of Light YearsA Sport and a Pastime and All That Is, has died. He was 90.

His death was confirmed on Friday to The Associated Press by Alfred A. Knopf spokesman Paul Bogaards.

Salter, never a big commercial success but admired by critics, wrote often on the topics of impermanence and mortality. He won the PEN/Faulkner prize for his 1988 collection Dusk and Other Stories and received both the Rea Award and the PEN/Malamud prize for lifetime achievement in short story writing.

Salter was born in Manhattan as James Horowitz but was known as James Salter as a writer. He attended West Point like his father and served in the Army Air Corps, during which time he found his calling as a writer. The year he left the military was the year he debuted as an author with his book The Hunters, which was later adapted into a 1958 film starring Robert Mitchum.

He also spent time working as a swimming pool salesman and a filmmaker, with his credits including a short documentary Team Team Team and the Sam Waterston-starring feature film Three.

His famous work about a Yale dropout and his French girlfriend, A Sport and a Pastime, was initially rejected by several publishers before George Plimpton accepted it in 1967 and released it through The Paris Review. Now the novel is respected as a classic work of erotic literature.

Salter married twice and had five children. Over the course of his life he published six novels and two story collections, as well as his memoir and pieces on food and travel.