Bebe Moore Campbell, a best-selling novelist "known for her empathetic treatment of the difficult, intertwined and occasionally surprising relationship between the races," has died at home in Los Angeles, the New York Times reports on the web. She was 56. The NYT says she died today, AP says she died on Friday. (Richard Prince of the Maynard Institute goes with today, saying she died at 12:15 am.) Complications of brain cancer were cited by longtime friend and publicist Linda Wharton-Boyd.
The NYT news story says:
Originally a schoolteacher and later a journalist, Ms. Campbell made her mark as a writer of fiction with her first novel, “Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine” (Putnam), published in 1992. Rooted in the story of Emmett Till, the book tells of a black Chicago youth killed by a white man in Mississippi in 1955. After the murderer is acquitted at trial, the narrative follows his increasing dissolution....
Ms. Campbell’s other novels, all published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, are “Brothers and Sisters” (1994), written in the wake of the Los Angeles riots of 1992; “Singing in the Comeback Choir” (1998), about a black television producer feeling cut off from her roots; and “What You Owe Me” (2001), about the friendship between two women, one African-American, the other a Jewish Holocaust survivor, in the 1940’s.
There's nothing that I can find on the Los Angeles Times website. [* Times posts a Mary Rourke obit at 9:18 pm.] Prince adds:
On Sept. 23, a group of friends assembled about 150 people at a hotel at Los Angeles International Airport for "Bebe's Noontime Jam," so Campbell would know "how she was loved and how much she impacted people's lives," writer Patrice Gaines told Journal-isms. "We felt it would be as good as any medicine," and her doctor agreed, she said.
People came from all phases of her life, Gaines said; videos and photos were shared and the University of Pittsburgh bestowed on her an honorary degree. There were proclamations from the city and county of Los Angeles. "She was in a wheelchair, but she was in great spirits. Her voice was in kind of a whisper but she was well aware and very happy about it," Gaines said.
Updated with new information