Thomas Berger, 'Little Big Man' novelist, dies at age 89

By Mila Whiteley,

Author Thomas Berger, best known for his novel Little Big Man, passed away on July 13.

Well-known for his biting writing style and private nature, Berger’s novel Little Big Man is considered classic American writing. The book tells the story of a man named Jack Crabb, who claims to have been abducted by Indians as a child and to have later fought in the Battle of Little Big Horn.

This beloved novel was eventually made into a movie in 1970, which was directed by Arthur Penn and starred Dustin Hoffman, reports the Associated Press.

Though Little Big Man is one of the novels Berger is most known for, he wrote novels in various other genres as well, with a range that included novels in the horror, science fiction and fantasy. In fact, two other Berger novels from different genres than Little Big Man have also been turned into movies. Neighbors was adapted in 1981 and Meeting Evil in 2012.

When speaking about the art of writing, The New York Times quotes Berger as saying, “Beginners sometime ask me how a novel is written, the answer to which is: Any way at all. One knows only when it is finished, and then if one is at all serious, he will never do it the same way again.”

According to his literary agent Christina Concepcion, prior to his death Berger had been struggling with failing health. He died at Nyack Hospital.



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