Two writers who were both literary fixtures in Southern California have died — longtime sports columnist Melvin Durslag and novelist Carolyn See.
Durslag reportedly died Sunday in a Santa Monica convalescent home after a brief illness. He was 95.
LA Observed reports that Durslag “wrote about sports for the Hearst newspapers in Los Angeles — the Examiner and then the Herald Examiner — from the time he was a freshman at USC in 1939 until (with time out for World War II service) the [Herald Examiner] closed in 1989. For most of that time, he was a featured sports columnist.”
Durslag was considered a rival to the Los Angeles Times’ Jim Murray for decades, with both sportswriters widely read across the country. In addition to the Herald Examiner, Durslag’s writing appeared in TV Guide, Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Esquire and other publications.
Durslag, who moved to the L.A. Times after the Herald Examiner folded, was elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 1995.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Carolyn See, who authored more than a dozen books and was a professor emerita of English at UCLA, died Wednesday, July 13, in Santa Monica. See, 82, reportedly died of cancer.
“Awarded the L.A. Times Book Prize’s Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement in 1993, See was long established as a leading literary figure of Southern California,” the Times reports. “She wrote more than a dozen books and received a Guggenheim Fellowship; taught creative writing at UCLA; was a regular book critic at the L.A. Times and the Washington Post; served on the board of PEN Center USA West; and was the mother of the best-selling novelist Lisa See.”
The Pasadena-born Carolyn See “wrote of the Southland with a native’s intimacy,” the Times notes. “Her fourth novel, ‘Golden Days’ (1986), brought her the greatest attention. A dark comedy set in Topanga Canyon, where See lived for many years, the story builds around misfits, free spirits and the starry-eyed graduates of self-help workshops. The novel sealed her identity as a writer.”