We are deeply saddened by the death of one of our most cherished local authors, George Hodgman.
George was funny, and brilliant, and passionate. He was also an extraordinarily kind and generous man, especially when it came to books and writing. He was a supporter of the Unbound Book Festival before it even existed, breaking off from a national tour for his fabulous memoir, Bettyville, to come back to Columbia to speak and sign books at our first ever fundraiser. Such was his star power that everyone in the room that night wrote us a check. He appeared at the inaugural festival as a guest, and in the second year he brilliantly moderated a panel about writing and dogs. (Raj came along.)
He was a frequent customer at Skylark, and seemed to have read everything. I have fond memories of standing with him between the tables at the front of the shop as he passed judgment on the titles we had on display – often surprising me with his opinions.
I read Bettyville twice. The first time, I laughed a lot. No surprise there: it’s hysterically funny. The second time, I saw past the jokes and was deeply moved by the heart-breaking humanity of his family’s story. That was George – his dazzling wit masking sadder stories beneath. I hope that this kind, sweet man has finally found some peace.