Acerbic writer Vidal dies at 86

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LOS ANGELES: Writer Gore Vidal, who filled his novels and essays with acerbic observations on politics, sex and American culture while carrying on feuds with big-name literary rivals, died on Tuesday at home in Los Angeles of complications from pneumonia, aged 86.

Vidal’s literary legacy includes a series of historical novels – Burr, 1876, Lincoln and The Golden Age among them – and the transsexual comedy Myra Breckinridge.

He started writing as a 19-year-old soldier stationed in Alaska, basing Williwaw on his World War II experiences. His third book, The City and the Pillar, created a sensation in 1948 because it was one of the first open portrayals of a homosexual main character.

He referred to himself as a “gentleman bitch”, and was as egotistical and caustic as he was elegant and brilliant. – Reuters

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