Evan S. Connell, one of our best writers, passed away this past week, age 88. Connell was around for a long time, and came to some prominence on the back of the Mr. and Mrs. Bridge novels, some of the first incisive novels about American suburban life. But he had a broad reach and an enthusiastic imagination. His novels ranged from Americana, including the Bridge novels and that magnificent little novel about longing, The Connoisseur, to the long philosophical poems of Notes from a Bottle found at the Beach at Carmel and its sequel, Points for a Compass Rose. Probably his best known book was Son of the Morning Star, a highly regarded book about Custer and the battle of Little Big Horn. He was interested in everything—his biography of Goya was excellent, one of his last novels was Deus Lo Volt, about the crusades, and his novel about alchemy The Alchemyst’s Journal, was one of the most challenging books I’ve ever read, and still remains by favorite by him. And his essays! Again, he wrote about everything, and to wander through A Long Desire or The White Lantern is to be struck by not only the depth of knowledge and understanding and uncanny judgment that Connell possessed, but also the range of subjects that attracted him. On top of everything else, he was a remarkable stylist, and had not just one, but many voices, all of which spoke eloquently of the joys of the life of the mind. Funny—just last week I was staring at his books on the bookshelf, thinking I was ready for another one. And maybe there will be. But if there isn’t, there are all those great books on the shelf, just waiting to be re-read. They will be, too.