Tristran Egolf Dead

Writer and activist Tristan Egolf has died at 33. The death is an apparent suicide, but police are investigating. Egolf was the writer of two novels, Lord of the Barnyard and Skirt and the Fiddle. Another one, Corn Wolf, a novel about a werwolf in Amish country, will be published next year. Egolf had his first novel published after 70 rejections and was initially discovered as a street musician in Paris. Further, Egolf was the head of the “Smoketown Six,” a group of men who were arrested when protesting against George Bush.

I haven’t read any of Egolf’s work, but if he was as promising as several folks have made him out to be, I plan on taking him up.

One Comment

  1. R
    There might be a bit of PR hype going on here. The French website says
    that Patrick Modiano’s daughter by complete chance saw Egolf busking
    in the streets of Paris on a cold and rainy day and she later invited
    him to have coffee with her. One thing led to another, presumbably,
    and he showed her….his……manuscript…….which he just by
    coincidence had with him in his busking bag….and she at once fell in
    love with……it…..and went home and showed the manuscript to her
    dad the famous novelist Patrick Modiano who exclaimed, wow, this is
    some find, we must get the guy published before 70 other publishers in
    the USA who already rejected it give it a second thought…so he
    showed …….. to the editorial board at his publisher….who
    immediately read it in English, had it translated into French and
    voila, the novel appeared first in French in Paris, after the sad dumb
    stupid USA rejected this genius 70 times, repeat, 70 times…..and
    then with partner Picador in the UK, an English edition was born, and
    them the dumb stupid innocent childish USA which had rejected said
    manuscript 70 times, repeat, 70 times, finally Grove Atlantic, which
    is a cut above the rest, picked it up for US readers. But it all began
    on a cold and rainy November day in Paris when Marie Modiano by pure
    chance saw Tristan playing his guitar on the street and invited him
    home for coffee. Now does anyone really believe this PR hype that
    might have even contributed in some way to the writer’s early death ?
    Why ? Because playing fast and loose with the facts just for PR hype
    and marketing hype — the new Americaine genius ! — might have played
    into Tristan’s battles with living an honest life….


    Tristan Egolf, a young novelist who had achieved some glowing reviews for his first novel, and some notoriety for his protests against President George W. Bush, has died, an apparent suicide, at age 33. As a Lancaster County Intelligencer report by Bernard Harris details, Egolf “was widely known locally as the leader of the Smoketown Six, a group of young men who were arrested in July when they attempted to protest President George W. Bush’s campaign stop in East Lampeter Township. The six men were taken into custody after they stripped to thongs and piled into a pyramid along Route 340 in imitation of an Abu Ghraib prison–abuse photo.” In the literary world, meanwhile, he had “received literary acclaim for the 2000 publication of his first book, Lord of the Barnyard with Grove/Atlantic, with whom he had published four more novels. Harris reports that at Grove/Atlantic, “there was an audible gasp from the women in the publicity department when told of Egolf’s passing.” Publicity v.p. Judy Hottensen told the paper, “He was an extremely talented, inventive and adventurous writer. He sold all over the world, especially in France. He was considered a rising star in the literary world.” His newest novel, Korn Wolf, was already completed and slated to be released soon.

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